Well folks. The year of 2016 is closing up shop. Hope everyone had a great Holidays of celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa. The year of 2016 will be retired and to be put in the throwback archives for future generations to come. There has been alot of the Good, Bad, and essentially Ugly in this leap year of 2016. The year of the monkey will be back in the cage. As far as the issues: we know what they are.
It’s time, folks. It’s time for the Traditional Stephen’s Spot Annual Review of the 2016! So here we go.
Most recently on December 27th, 2016: The Dow hit 20,000 points. Under Obama’s watch.
The Affordable Care Act got new folks to sign up for the insurance. Way before someone is about to takeover the White House.
A first for the Obama Crew: Cuba and the US are talking again, plus the Prime Minister of Japan visits the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor for the very first time.
President Obama gives his State of Union Address for the last time.
The Chicago Cubs won something that they haven’t had in a loooooong while: a World Series Title.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won something that was long overdue: A NBA Championship.
For the NFL: Denver Broncos. Superbowl 50.
For the NCAA Men’s Basketball: Villanova beat North Carolina.
For the NCAA’s Women’s Basketball: Connecticut beat Syracuse.
For the 2016 Olympics: Team USA won more medals of 120+ and 1,000 gold medals. Oh, names like Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps (now retired), Simone Manuel, The USA Men’s Squad of Basketball and Women’s Squad of Basketball got the gold yet again, the events of Shooting for the females caught on with gold, a chance to see the US Fencing Squad winning silver and bronze, The Track and Field Women’s Squad hit the reset button and got into the Gold Medal Relays and WON the gold medal, Shot Put was won gold by a Shot-Put diva named Michelle Carter. Plus US Rugby debuted. And even Wisconsin’s OWN Gwen Jorgensen winning GOLD!
Hamilton still rocks. Even the Mixtape rocks.
Again: Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, Empire, The Haves and Haves Nots, If Loving You Is Wrong, and Blackish still dominates.
Underground on WGN: Strong Debut.
And yet, Modern Family continues to roll.
Yet again the Hallmark Christmas specials came back for another year.
Netflix brought back Voltron, but also gave us Luke Cage and Fuller House.
Roots was remade.
Harley And The Davidsons was on Discovery.
The Smithsonian National African American History Museum in Washington DC opens up to the public. And that was LONG OVERDUE!
WWE Raw and Smackdown brought back the brand extension, and of course, Goldberg and Shane McMahon.
Milestones in 2016: The USA celebrated 240 years of life. The Black Panthers, Star Trek, Kwanzaa, the Country Music Awards (featuring Beyoncé and Daddy Lessons) and the Superbowl all celebrated 50 years. Pearl Harbor marked 75 years since 1941. Black History Month celebrated 90 years.
For us Gen X’ers, Transformers: The Movie turned 30. Learn it, Millennials.
Top Gun also turned 30 years old.
The Simpsons made a TV milestone: 600 episodes! And that 600th Show was a Halloween tradition of the Treehouse of Horror #27.
MTV turned 35 years old, and also launched a channel to play nothing but………..Classic Shows like The Real World.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was revamped. Let’s do the Time Warp Again!
Macy’s (like the Milwaukee Holiday Parade and Tony Bennett’s Age) Thanksgiving Day Parade turned 90 years.
Toward the end of the year: Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve turned 45.
Nintendo made waves this year: First the company brought back the NES….The NES Classic. And also the Nintendo Switch which will come out in March of 2017, via their video preview.
North of the Border: The CN tower also celebrated Black History Month (their 40th year)with the Red, the Black, the Green.
For the Movies (my only picks I should say):
Barbershop: The Next Cut
Angry Birds Movie
The Magnificent Seven
The Birth of the Nation
Office Christmas Party
and When The Bough Breaks, all came out this year.
When the BET Awards this year happened the most: The tribute to Prince, and Jesse Williams busted out his Humanitarian Speech. I’ll bet many were listening.
American Idol had it’s final season after 15 years, and the last winner was Trent Harmon.
AT&T and DirecTV have debuted DirecTV Now. Unleash the cord cutters.
For the United Methodist Church: the General Church Conference took place this year in Portland, Oregon. But also featured a Black Lives matter Protest. The United Methodist Church also was represented during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
2016 was also a leap year.
For the music: Well not that much but I’ll take this here:
The Hamilton Mixtape – My Shot
Beyonce/Kendrick Lamar – Freedom
Alicia Keys – In Common
Bruno Mars – 24k Magic
SATE – What did I do/Warrior
Mary J. Blige – Thick of It
Leela James – Don’t Want You Back
The Rolling Stones (YES THE STONES) – Commit A Crime/Just Your Fool
Eric Benet – Insane and Sunshine.
A Tribe Called Quest – We The People…..
Anderson.Paak- Come Down.
Drake- One Dance.
Bad Rabbits-How High.
Prince – 1000x’s and o’s.
Sharon Jones – Midnight Rider
Charles Bradley – Aint it a Sin
Well known to retire: Kobe Bryant, Charles Woodson, Tim Duncan, Peyton Manning, Kevin Garnett, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Phelps, Ray Allen, Amar’e Stoudamire, Charles Tillman, Makayla Maroney, Kyla Ross. All hung up the jerseys and cleats and unis.
Protests at Standing Rock took place. #NoDAPL!
Straight Outta Wisconsin in a good way:
Mayor Tom Barrett, Jason Fields, Lena Taylor all retained and/or won their seats back in office. And yes, Congresswoman Gwen Moore is still the congresswoman.
My Alma Mater, The University of Wisconsin-Stout turned 125.
Several Milwaukeeans created designs of The People’s Flag, and well….here was the winner.
The Milwaukee Streetcar is still on point. To be continued until 2018.
Train maker Talgo made a comeback: in repairing trains in the same area where it was pulled out due to politics.
A Reality TV Show, Milwaukee Blacksmith was filmed here.
The Bublr Bikes still expanded.
The Northwestern Mutual Tower is nearly completed and is expected to open in 2017.
The Wisconsin Job Center had multiple units for jobs that were accessable to various neighnorhoods.
A revived Black Panthers Group debuted in Milwaukee. From protests to celebrating Kwanzaa. Actually called the Revolutionary Black Panther Party. And no, they are NOT A RACIST PARTY!
The Milwaukee Bucks new arena is in full swing of construction. To be continued until the 2017-2018 season.
Attention Black Milwaukeeans and Wisconsinites: We have Outdoor Afro in Milwaukee and Madison.
The Milwaukee Admirals moved out of the Bradley Center, into the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena. (For you old heads, the Mecca Arena)
For the black radio stations in Milwaukee: WNOV 860 AM’s “The Forum” surpasses 1000 broadcasts in 4 years in November.
The Community Journal, a African American publication in the city celebrated a milestone of 40 years. Been around since the year I was born: 1976.
The Milwaukee Public Schools welcomed back the Alumni: An Alumni Class Reunion, Summit and Networking event all happened this year. All a first of its 170 years.Expect a handbook for the Alumni to get scholarhips, reunions, and other ideas in 2017.
Speaking of that: Milwaukee turned 170 years old this year.
My Alma Mater, John Marshall High School (or should they say Milwaukee Marshall High School) is 55 years old and the Morse*Marshall name is no more.
And speaking of that: MPS will have a new Calendar to work with next semester.
For the retirees in Milwaukee: Charlie Sykes retired from 620 WTMJ AM radio after 23 years. (Non fans rejoice!) Two of our Milwaukee television personalities: Vince Condella and Katrina Cravy of Fox 6 have also retired this year. Vince Condella worked for 33 years, and Katrina Cravy work for 18 years.
CBS 58 debuted their news coverages via Drones. Yes! Drones are in effect.
Fox 6’s own, Jenna Sachs is now doing Contact 6. Going after the scammers like Katrina Cravy and Tom Hooper.
Milestone: Speaking of Fox 6, it’s 60 years of broadcasting this year.
Our Milwaukee Holiday tradition of the Christmas Parade….er Holiday parade reached its 90th year.
In the response to the shootings of Orlando this past summer: The City of Milwaukee was featured with the LGBT flag at City Hall, and also on June 2nd several monuments and landmarks in Milwaukee were featured in Orange.
For the Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a 4 year deal: A $100 million dollar contract to continue play for the team. Talk about own the future! Plus also signed Thon Maker.
For the Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Thames is in the Keg, and scouting young players to add for the crew to get the wins.
For the Green Bay Packers: In addition to signing Jared Cook at the Tight End position: still surprising the opponents. Ty Montgomery made waves as a Running Back, Jordy Nelson got his groove back, Aaron Rodgers is still a baaaaaaad man, Clay Matthews is still the Claymaker, Damarious Randall is getting his game on and of all players improved: Davante Adams! As of right now, the team is tied with Detroit at 9-6. But previously:
Then after the Bye week:
Falcons, Titans, Redskins, and Colts: a four game loss
And as usual: The Packers OWN December. And the new monkier of “Run The Table” is a test thus far.
For the Wisconsin Badgers Football team: Say what you want, they are a good team. Making the record of 10-3 in the AP ranks/regular season. Winning back the Heartland Trophy, retaining the Freedom Trophy, and the Axe for the 13th time. Sorry, Minnesota. And beating LSU at Lambeau which looked good in Red and White.
The players from Bart Houston, Rob Wheelwright, Corey Clement, Leo Musso, Troy Fumilgali, Dare Ogumbawale, the Freshman takeover of Alex Hornibrook, and Bradrick Shaw doing the mix is rebuilding the structure of the Badger Crew.
During the election, Sen. Bernie Sanders bested Hillary Clinton, which Bernie won the state.
Our station Channel 18 has gone back being “Super”. As in Super 18.
The Bad in 2016
ISIS or ISIL was a problem. Either in person or online.
Funai rolls out the last of the VCR’s.
Nintendo rolls out the last of Wii U.
Racism happened again in 2016. Yes racism.
Fake Stories SUCKED! Ask Google and Facebook on that.
FBI Director James Comey goes after Hillary Clinton and those darn EMAILS!
The Legion of Police wanted to ban the “Bulletproof Black Lives Matter” shirts from Walmart’s website. Oh, the idiots!
Speaking of Walmart and Amazon: Like them, but give Run DMC their respect when it comes to BRANDING THEIR LOGOS!
Black Lives Matter still was a burning hole in those whom have the hate.
The 2016 Election had the worst turnout. Low Voter Turnout that is.
Baltimore had a shooting.
Hillary Clinton lost the Election and Donald Trump won the White House. Which left the Clinton Machine in stoppage.
Chicago’s murder rate as of this year by the numbers: 750+ Higher than LA or any other city.
Chicago’s Murder per capita: 3.8 (as in earlier in the year).
Donald Trump’s cabinet members will feature those who don’t have enough experience. Even if the name is Linda McMahon. Yes, Vinny Mac’s better half will be serving with Trump.
No he didn’t! BET Founder Robert Johnson believes that African-Americans should give Trump a chance.
Straight Outta Wisconsin in a bad way:
Lincoln Hills continued to be an eyesore of concern.
Milwaukee’s murder per capita: 4.0
Carjackings was so bezerk in Milwaukee.
Fighting in Mayfair Mall after Christmas: dumb.
Former Police Officer, Dominiquie Heegan-Brown shot Slyville Smith during the summer of 2016 and a pre lead the unrest in the Sherman Park area.
4 inmates die in a Milwaukee County Jail. Under the watch of Sheriff David Clarke.
Wisconsin is a “red state” because of Donald Trump’s win.
Sad news if you are a Russ Feingold fan: Ron Johnson still retained his seat. And other sad news: Paul Ryan and Reince Preibus are still hanging around.
As many know, that Wisconsin still remains a “worst state for black people.” Whereas Milwaukee still remains the most “Segregated City” in the United States.
The problem with the Milwaukee water system with lead still remains a hot-button topic that must be addressed every time.
Hillary Clinton DIDN’T show up to Wisconsin to campaign when getting her second wind as trying to become President along with Tim Kaine.
The Wisconsin Badgers didn’t win the Big Ten Championship, after winning the B1G West Title.
Midtown Walmart in Milwaukee: closed. And all I bought was a Straight Outta Compton DVD and Oreo Cookies.
Flat out Ugly in 2016
Been to a Donald Trump Rally? ugly. Matter of fact it was the most ugliest rally that was produced and seen. Even fighting and taking away black folks.
Zika Virus happened.
Samsung discontinued one of their smartphones due to exploding concerns.
Flint Michigan and the water issues.
For you Brits: Brexit.
Michelle Obama was a target of those who called her “ape in heels.” Oh that was ugly!
Russia and the “Election hacks”.
A footage from 2005 on Access Hollywood, over hears the words: “Grab them by the P***y from whom? Donald Trump.
The rise of the Alt-Right. Oh yes, they’re on the spot.
Oh and that DL Hughley mama joke: that was way you guess it.
Ugly for Wisconsin:
140. The amount of homicides in Milwaukee in 2016.
Milwaukee had and still has ongoing effects of lead levels in the drinking water.
The Real UW: in which the University of Wisconsin Madison had an ugly side when it came to race. And the hidden stories of why it happens.
UW-Stout student Hussain Alnahdi was killed near the campus on the weekend during the Halloween holiday. A spoiler in the 125th Anniversary.
After the recounts in other states like Wisconsin, Donald Trump is still the victor.
We Say Their Names. Those whom left us. 2016 had this moniker of having no chill. Some of the famous fallen left and right.
Justice Antonin Scalia
Denise Matthews (aka Vanity)
Frank Sinatra, Jr.
Will Smith (Football Player, New Orleans Saints)
Joanie Lauer (aka Chyna)
Zsa Zsa Gabor
The victims of the Florida Nightclub Shootings.
The victims in Los Angeles shootings.
Thomas Mikal Ford (aka Tommy from “Martin”)
Here in Milwaukee, we also lost those who gave the city a voice, and a reminder:
Eric Von -known for being on WNOV, 1290 WMCS, and the health initiative of Brain, Brawn and Body. He was 58.
Slyville Smith – a 23 year old shooting victim that was killed in Milwaukee that also erupted portions of the city that was engulfed in flames.
Za’layia Jenkins was only 4 years old after a bullet struck her, while watching TV.
Colin Demge- well known DJ in the Riverwest Area, died at 33.
Jay Anderson, killed in Wauwatosa by a police officer, At 25 years old.
My highlights of the year
And as usual: I want to put on my 2016 moments. I feel a need to say this because I’m hoping to have a year of better opportunities. 2016 was a year of milestones for me in this order:
20- the amount of years that I am my Church’s techie. I started out running the church sound system in 1996, and worked up to taking photos, and social media. The proper name is Commutations Chairperson and I was awarded an appreciation award for what I still do!
10 – the amount of years that I celebrated as an alumnus of the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Plus serving as a Election Inspector for the City of Milwaukee. All since 2006.
5 – the half milestone that I served as a board member for the John Marshall High School Alumni Association. Since 2011.
And yes, I turned 40 on December 5th.
In addition: I was the Official Photographer for the 46th NCJ-BMCR Jurisdiction Meeting in Milwaukee. And had networking implications of course.
Plus adding on another board title for a scholarship committee here in Milwaukee.
Sidenote: Oh I didn’t noticed this but, I appreciate the 20,275 views on my blog. This is great, BUT: the “same old reading stuff” bubbles must be busted in 2017! I will find a way to do it, or maybe not. We’ll see.