Posts Tagged ‘The Milwaukee Streetcar’


Oh the irony. There is a group out now that wants to recall Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. There is an organization called “Save Our City: Milwaukeeans Can’t Wait” that has filed a petition to get about 50,000+ signatures in order to have an recall election to run against the 4 time mayor of the Milwaukee.  As many DO RECALL: Mayor Barrett won his election bid to continue against then opponent Alderman Bob Donovan for another 4 years. Yes, Milwaukee he won.

What was some of the reasons for this so-called request?

  1. Streetcar Project
  2. Lead Pipes
  3. Not enough to fight Crime

 

After reading about this petition idea, I have only ONE Question to ask: Why didn’t this came out last year in 2016 when the Mayor was re-elected? I mean they had the chance to out him on the ballots, BUT Tom still won. 

For this bogus recall group, they are just mad. They are mad at what many think that Tom here is this nice guy mayor that many feel that he’s projecting the work downtown than in the other sectors of the city. For the record there are some projects in the City that are under construction, developing and others that are happening right now. It’s not just downtown! I’ve seen them with my own Nikon.

Plus according to Urban Milwaukee, Mayor Barrett had noticed this idea for several weeks. And of course if or when these signatures and others made themselves known, expect the DEFENSE of Mayor Barrett will come out and defend his record in the last previous term. Expect that Milwaukee!

Also, I heard that one of the Milwaukee Black Panthers Darryl Farmer is acting as the treasurer for the Organization. Not familiar with Darryl Farmer? He is also known as King Rick by the way. And I’ll bet some of the Panthers might question why he is in this instead of the black fist rising. I’m just saying!

And by the way, ASK ME THIS: why hasn’t no company or organization has NOT gone into the Century City Park I Building that A.O. Smith used to be? And it’s still vacant?

We know that Mayor Barrett isn’t perfect. We know this. But in all of this request to get 50,000 signatures in 60 days in my opinion, will not happen. I’m sorry, Allen L. Jansen! Many don’t realize that the petitions will again cost taxpayers extra money to get this done. And who is going to challenge Mayor Barrett? Who?!  Keep in mind that the election was LAST YEAR!

For all of those whom are the “Save our City: Milwaukeeans can’t wait” flagship whatever group, if you challenge this per se, with this idea of a recall, and Barrett defends his record in a truthful manner, guess what?  you will make him a 5 time mayor. I’m calling it right now! And no I will NOT sign your petition.

Let me just say this on the real though: How is the Milwaukee Streetcar a potential problem of Police and Schools when the federal tax dollars (you heard that right) were used, plus also the ongoing construction is putting in jobs?

Second about the Lead Pipes: we all know that the lead in the water is a problem. There is no denying that. Matter of fact it’s been a problem BEFORE Tom Barrett was in office. Why wasn’t the issue discussed when Norquist was in office? Remember cryptosporidium? Explain that, Save our City folks.

As far as the crime statistics, we know it’s a major problem.

As a native and still living in the Brew City, yes Milwaukee is not perfect. It wasn’t perfect when John Norquist was mayor, and neither now. So what’s the haps?

It’s going to take all of the near 600,000 plus Milwaukeeans that live in the City Limits to get this city going. Not all the former residents who still got love for Milwaukee whom work and go back to the boonies. Nope, you don’t count. In all of this, it’s all about some dude who thinks that when someone is in office, there is always whom feel that someone that is not doing all things, or not focusing on all of the Milwaukee sector except DOWNTOWN! Oh, we talk about the Milwaukee Bucks. We know that the Arena is coming up, but did you know that the Milwaukee Bucks will turn one of the former battered playgrounds into a multi-field for track, soccer, basketball, tennis and other sports?

This is what I’m talking about for those whom are late to the bar:

The title says: “Milwaukee Bucks, Johnson Controls to build $150,000 ‘multi-sport complex’ in the city’s Westlawn neighborhood”

This was reported in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 2 months ago! HELLO! Anyone of the Save our City folks read this? Where have you been?! Ok, I get it. Everybody got different schedules. BUT STAY ON SCHEDULE!

And I’ll bet whom probably already forgotten after reading this will be like, oh yes that right, but what else is being built? First of all, I see construction stuff alot. No matter if it’s in Wauwatosa, Downtown, The East Side,  or the South Side. But mostly, on the North Side besides the Multi-sports complex, there are some construction projects that are happening, and I’m not talking about the roads nor new stores that might sell liquor. Some are popping up. You need to get out and look that yes there are construction jobs coming and doing, but there might other jobs too.

Let’s be real. We know better than this.  All I’m saying!

 

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It hasn’t been like this since I was a toddler. For the first time in about 36 years, the Milwaukee Transit System is on a 3 day strke. But before I dive into this, let me assure the MCTS audience that I had and have workers and bus drivers in my family that driven and worked on buses for the MCTS for many many years. With this strike, it has hit hard on the workers, the poor and most of all, our 11 day festival of Summerfest in which the routes are effected with men, women and children riding to the midgate to enjoy the shows and activities. But as many know, the reasons behind it due to the budget side of work, fair wages, salary, breaks and many other Union-like factors. For this, I present this blog letter to all of the Milwaukee County Transit System Bus Drivers, Mechanics, Office Personal, and supporters who rely on the buses every single day!

Dear Milwaukee County Transit System:

It’s me Stephen. A former bus rider, now driver, and a Milwaukee Black Blogger that is a supporter.

I FEEL YOU!

I feel every single one of you that that is going through this strike. I feel everyone that rely on the services to get to school, appointments, events, or any other use of transportation that gets the need and want for the services of the citizens of the Bus. There is no excuse of why there no talking between the Union and the Bus Company’s higher representatives in order to get a resolution, an official resolution, in order to get this deal on the table, and discussion, and most of all an all around deal that this make sense.

Yes, I have Milwaukee County Transit System REALATED folks in my family, that are or were Bus Operators, Tankers, and Mechanics that worked for the company for quite sometime. My late uncle, rode the bus on routes of the 80 and the 12, and even the MCTS Seasonal Trolley that earned income. Sadly, my uncle died in January 1999 at the Fond Du Lac Station in Milwaukee and it was a big shock to all of us in the family. His funeral was at my old church building back then, and the honorable Pall Bearers at the time were indeed the MCTS Drivers who knew my Uncle on the job. My family at the time THANKED them for their support, and also assistance in our bereavement. If you were apart of my uncle’s tribute back in 1999 at the time of his passing and remembrance, I say this as a family member: THANK YOU! I have another uncle, who has lymphoma. And there were times I hear about him going to work  and making the cash. And even though his health may not be up to par, but he is not going to let his disorder of health stop him for getting to and from work as a mechanic for the MCTS.I have older cousins, who previously worked as Bus Operators knew the game very well.

Sorry I had to get like that. But you never know why things like this happen!

But when I thought about them, this is why I respect the drivers of what they do. As far as the Streetcar thing, different angle. But this is not about the Streetcar. This is about the Buses.

For those who are bus drivers, and mechanics, and other employees of the MCTS, that got harassed, beaten up, cursed at, facing the stress of customers, work, complaints, and many other concerned factors, I FULLY UNDERSTAND! I get it’s not easy. I work as a church secretary and I get those. But for you all, I have many things to say, but I have this: Hold On.

For you drivers that have been out all night with the picket signs: HOLD ON!

For the office workers who have to put up the papers and complaints: HOLD ON!

For the Mechanics that have to spend all the time fixing up the buses that many have to ride and drive, even during the strike: HOLD ON!

For all of us who know folks that need rides to the Schools, Doctors, Church, Dentists, Summerfest,the club, Fourth of July Fireworks, or any other use to get to work: I say this to all: HOLD ON!

For those in the Upper Management, that had to make day to day decisions, that is hard: HOLD ON!

For those who are in the 998 ATU Union: HOLD ON!

Not only HOLD ON, but KEEP PRESSING! Until the strike ends this week by the 4th of July.

Sincerely,

Stephen

P.S. for more info on the Transit Strike, check out the MCTS website, and the FAQ’s of the Transit Strike, reference this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.


For today, another chapter in the history of the brew city had turned the page. A long waited Streetcar project that kept on the shelf for over 20 years can finally be put to good use. And yes there was a twist with the new idea with the new Bucks Arena involving the Menominee Tribe offering $200 million to cover the cost of the place via taxpayers.  That second part still remains to be seen if Walker can actually make a fair shake. However for this day, something must have shook the core to get the Ill Mil started up.  And yes the idea might be costly but effective. So with that, here is a blog letter.

Dear Milwaukee folks.  Yeah all of us:

It’s me Stephen.  Yes, I’m local, born here, work here, haven’t thought about leaving yet, still black and a blogger here in the city.

History was made today. The Brew City has done something that it needed to do. And the Common Council whom voted to approve for the project has finally had the brass balls that has been long waited through polarized politics in a segregated climate. Congrats, Milwaukee you have finally began to snap out of the funk of denial of getting the Milwaukee Streetcar to become a significant reality. Keep the pressure on and don’t stop! The reason being there might be folks who would toss your game and make you quit. And this goes for the Streetcar supporters and project ambassadors and business connections alike. Again do not stop!

Just a thought here: add a provisional clause in the contracts, agreements and proofing that the project SHOULD be under “Iron Clad Rules.” Anything it’s Iron Clad should not be put on ballots, nor referendums. NONE!

And to those in Milwaukee that are still in the funk of not moving forward to help the city out, then CLEARLY you are not doing your job! For those in the CRG Network, yeah you are still circulating petitions and trying to force a referendum to halt the project. Even though its a right but I think you are wasting your time of halt opportunities for those who want to shine! Not just those who want the Streetcar, I’m talking about those who are super hungry, super waiting on hand and foot just itching to do skills they were trained to do and also waiting to do!!!!

What is it about Milwaukee or Wisconsin that an idea comes to motion that seems good, then here comes the folks that have to debate, and debate, and debate, and debate from some wannabes who feels that they know what the people want?

CALLOUT: CRG Network, I’m posing this question to you since you indicated the knowing part, what do you know what I want in Milwaukee? What do you know?! And to those who are on these Anti-Streetcar pages particularly in Milwaukee and the so-called Koch Funded Americans for Prosperity, I’m posing this question also, what do you know what I want in Milwaukee?

My former pastor used to say: “Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing!”

Over and over again I said that Milwaukee needs to play hard poker to gamble and over again. We’ve gotten soft with all the Polarized Politics in a Segregated City. Don’t deny the thought! Many of you were probably taught that when you were growing up and refusing black folks to work along for a successful job! And those you turn away, either they do two things: either move away to another city or take another job that will keep folks poor. Ruffle the feathers much?

And as for the new Bucks Arena. With an idea with the Menominee Tribe has in mind of covering their 200 millions for the taxpayers of the building. With a twist of the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. That to me seems interesting. It does. Simply because I think the Tribe would like to assist the need to help the taxpayers portion of the third leg of the funding. Which to me seems interesting to follow up. However, it might not happen because many folks know that Scott Walker will not make that happen. And already he denied the funding of casino by listening to Iowa in his somewhat request to become President. Which I think he would not get far.

And of course we all know that Illinois is also looking at us to see if Wisconsin reaches its familiar breaking point of turning down funding that could benefit folks for jobs. There are folks here that need to eat, work, and play. And I’m not talking about those that are currently doing it. I’m talking about those who really need to eat! And aren’t lazy and do want to work!

And also note to the Menominee Tribe, if the full idea is a moot, and we know this per say, donate part of your 200 Million to the UW Universities to assist those in Higher Education. And partially, make a deal with Hard Rock International to build Hard Rock Cafes in the state.  I see them everywhere else, but why not here in Wisconsin? Or Build a Hard Rock Cafe Roadhouse near Summerfest. I’m giving some ideas here!

Finally, as I close. I hope this day can teach us a lesson. I love my city. And at times I have to condemn my city for not doing right. I’m not just talking about the ballot box or radio, I’m talking about letters, emails, blogs,  Social Media postings and many other forms of communication. Even face to face or eye to eye. Now I would probably post this on Facebook per say in a Streetcar group page. But here, I feel this blog of WordPress is the best thing to go.

Play hard poker Milwaukee. Snap out of the funk of denial and get your resumes out!

Get onboard.

Sincerely (in the city),

Stephen


First: let me give a shoutout to the Milwaukee Streetcar folks. Apparently that my previous blog was linked on their Facebook Page (aka The Milwaukee Streetcar) and yes, I didn’t know that it had about 54 views here, and 35 views on their page. So for those who “actually” liked the page on Facebook, from my own black point of view, thank you! And for those who probably had to comment crazy on the page via my blog link, I think you didn’t get my gist of why it matters to the jobs for the city. Or is it because I had to bring up the segregated climate angle, and those having the “conflicted viewpoints?” Some of you know it’s true. Don’t start illing! Now after my commentary letter to the Milwaukee Common Council is up for their review, now it’s time to ask the question: Would I ride the Milwaukee Streetcar if it were to be built? Would I contribute the Streetcar funding by paying fares, getting off and on at selected stops, or maybe help the tourist part with a potential of I don’t know, Photography? Reference Atlanta. Would I do the photography thing if the construction of the streetcar were to be constructed? Would the Streetcar continue with jobs beyond the completion if I were to apply? All of that, I’ll admit: YES! Now, you’re probably saying, well that’s all in fine BUT why would you use it when you drive a car? Yes I do drive. However I wouldn’t mind if I were to ride the Streetcar and possibly get paid for tours. Or maybe to have a side gig or full time gig in promoting the streetcar via my college studies. One of my past UW-Stout classes was in Project Management and I do remember that when the company wins, everybody wins. That was the mantra. When the company wins, everybody wins. Also when I mentioned the “Conflicted Viewpoints” thing, that took me back to my college studies, yet again. It was a course in Organizational Leadership in referencing the good behaviors and bad behaviors. On that Facebook Page, out of that 2,000 plus folks who clicked the like button, there were some male and female pundits showing their polarized side in assuming they know everything. They really don’t! Just making excuses of not moving forward. Partially, Milwaukee and Wisconsin is known for that the most. And folks like them per say, like to get the calculating this and that, and having this attitude that it would not work or operate. How do they know?!!! Yeah I’m calling them out! If they are so caring about the calculating with transit per say, why can’t they calculate the help of getting jobs connecting to Milwaukee? Especially for those who don’t drive and having concerns?! Where is the calculating in that?! Polarized Politics and segregation climates are a dangerous mix. Even if you’re black! Now, non black folks, I know what your saying. “I’m not a racist. I have black friends….” Stop it! And black folks, do not go in that “negropean angle” and thinking its not going hurt you. In some ways, it can hurt! Just today, even thought it’s a day to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I have thought about him and the days he went through of having these distortions in public, and his work of equality of justice. Despite of the marches, speeches, and the nonviolent acts of freedom, Dr. King kept on his mission until his untimely death at 39 years old. And yes, in his absence, the struggle continues! He wasn’t just about the dream, also insert the words “Radical and Revolutionary” in that as well! Every black student and other students alike as well as the now grown folks nation, needs to realize that! We face new struggles in all things everyday even in this technological 21st Century full of Apps, Social Media, and Drones. And blogging. And also, by the end of this day, I ask those who are so MLK supportive: Will you act on the dream already? Will you act on the dream that those who march in Ferguson, New York and Milwaukee for equal justice and not using distortion of hate? Will you act on the dream in your schools, church, your job, a Career Fair, a community center, or any other act of need for yourself and for those that need the act of needs?  Even if it involves new structures that seemed distorted by those who do not want to move forward?! Towards the end of 2014, in speaking of distortions, my former UMC Pastor warned my church congregation about wolves in sheep’s clothing. I’m sure many have heard that in a way or another. But you’re probably asking, what does that have to do with the Milwaukee Streetcar and what’s going on with the Polarized Politics? Here is my answer: BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING! Beware! Let me tell you why. Just this morning, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published a Purple Wisconsin Blog in regarding the Opponents of the Milwaukee Streetcar. And yes, this Wednesday is D-Day for the Milwaukee Common Council to either rock it or drop it, due to the referendum idea out of Aldermans Joe Davis and Bob Donovan. We all know that they went to different parts out side of the metro area to pull the strings about derailng this Milwaukee Streetcar Project. Alderman Davis has said that it’s racist and immoral. And having the thought of Black Millennials will not be part of this as well as dealing with shootings such as the death of Dontre Hamilton. Speaking of that, many here in Milwaukee have already heard the radio spot in which Nate Hamilton expressed his liberties about the hate of the Streetcar, and not getting justice for his late brother shot by the Milwaukee PD. Now, again I feel for the Hamiltons and the ongoing efforts to get justice. Yes, I know they are hurting and it’s democracy in action. But after reading this article from the blog:

As has previously been reported, radio advertisements have been running on certain Milwaukee radio stations that attempt to rhetorically connect a public transportation project with the tragic death of Dontre Hamilton. The ads say they are sponsored by a group called the Black Lives Matter Coalition, although according to Milwaukee radio station WNOV the ads are actually paid for by Craig Peterson of Milwaukee based public relations firm Zigman Joseph Stephenson. Peterson, a resident of River Hills, is the same individual behind the group Citizens for Urban Justice, which sponsored advertisements supporting Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke and Scott Walker.

What is really going on? Is the folks behind the making of the ads are using the feelings of the Hamilton family for their political distortion? Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing! I have a question to the Black Milwaukee Millennial folks: Has Alderman Davis “ACTUALLY” talked to you about jobs for the Streetcar? Have any of you “ACTUALLY” gone to those Milwaukee Public Meetings on the Milwaukee Streetcar? Have any of you “ACTUALLY” written letters to Mayor Tom Barrett about the Streetcar period? I want to know that question! Again: Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing! Another viewpoint from the article:

In what has become a sadly predictable pattern, Milwaukee area right wing talk radio hosts are leading the media campaign against the streetcar. Charlie Sykes, Vicki McKenna, Mark Belling and others wear their anti-Milwaukee rhetoric as a badge of honor, and the street car is just the latest in a long line of initiatives which would have benefited people living in Milwaukee, but were blocked in part due to the coordinated opposition from conservative talk radio. In this case, Sykes’ show has been actively promoting anti-streetcar efforts. Vicki McKenna was the featured speaker at a meeting of streetcar opponents. In a recent broadcast, Mark Belling highlighted the public transportation initiatives he has opposed and succeeded in blocking over the last twenty-five years on the air. Talk radio hosts have deliberately crafted and relish in their status as an anchor around the neck of the city of Milwaukee with craven attempts to exploit anti-urban sentiment, exascerbate suburban hostility and fear, and drive their ratings. Aldermen Davis and Donovan have enlisted the support of this coalition of anti-Milwaukee conservatives, most of whom do not live in the city, to achieve their political ends.

Again: Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing! Lot of folks are probably saying, “show us the proof!” I don’t have to show it, because it’s already been written in the actions. It’s being scripted for those who want to be played, tabloid, hoodwinked, teased, manipulated, being hyper sensitive, bamboozled, brainwashed, whimper out, arm twisted, wanting to sellout, wanting to be (excuse my french), “bootlickers”, wanting to be sold to the highest bidder in order to do what is best for business in all for the money, their jobs to feed families and ratings. I’m saying this now! Plus I know this might hurt, but it’s the truth! I know it’s MLK day. But there was time that there were certain folks back in his heyday didn’t like what Martin Luther King Jr was doing, but he kept marching! He didn’t just expressed that in the pulpits, nor the March on Washington or any other place he went and preached. No matter where he went, he kept marching. And even getting on America’s case about the bombings in Vietnam. He was telling the truth, even folks who did not want to hear it! He died for what he fought for at age 39. How many black 39 year olds today in 2015 would continue to fight for the positives right now? Think about it. So to The Milwaukee Streetcar folks: I have some advice: One: Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. No matter who or what comes up, correct folks not just online, but in person, the radio, the blogging, and definitely Facebook. Two: Always express the truth in which you present! Not the negative media, not those who think they know, but it comes from you and you only! Three: Get positive feedback or should I say “True Positive Feedback!” Even if you hear good radio spots on Black Milwaukee Radio of the Milwaukee Streetcar via the African-American Chamber of Commerce and Matters of the Heart Church. And for the record, they have promoted the positive light of the project for Economic Development and mostly for black folks looking for work even more. Again from my last blog story to the Common Council, and look for this again for the support thing via Urban Milwaukee, I support the idea of the Milwaukee Streetcar for one and one reason only of fresh, out of the box, innovative and new careers. This is my statement and opinion.


I’m about to go in on the city again. But before I do, this commentary is for the city and towards the city. If you are one of the folks in Milwaukee who feels that the Streetcar is on this verge of being a pain per say, and you start to hear all the “rumors” from taking money from MPS in all, then you really have been listening to “the stories” and not the stone cold truth in a positive sense. By now, you probably had gone to Serb Hall in West Allis tonight and probably had sat in the seats and heard the spoken word of Milwaukee Aldermen Bob Donovan and Joe Davis, Sr. Why those two you ask? because they are leading this crusade to get the streetcar on the ballot for the April election in taking it to the people in making it a yay or nay decision. Oh check this, while you’re at the Serb, you probably were given a sheet like this: Yeah you might feel pretty good about having this petition and trying to get the names on it before the spring election. What you are just doing is just that. Having a Streetcar per say will symbolize all the segregation and racism that you might been hearing about, and it must be stopped. Really?! And plus we just had a shooting downtown in which Dontre Hamilton was killed at Red Arrow Park and many feel that his death is being overshadowed with the interest of getting the Streetcar started. And plus when I read about the so-called groups of Citizens Responsible for Government (as usual being conservative) plus black activism of using #BlackLivesMatter along with it, now its becoming ugly. CALLOUT: I thought #BlackLivesMatter was to address the concerns of unarmed Black Men and Black Women getting killed. When did it start being so political?!!! Let me address the Hamilton family here: First, I feel you. I get it. I get it. I’ve seen you in the streets getting your liberties and having the chance to get the case reopened for Dontre. I know how at times that justice can be a twist of fate at times. Let me explain. In July of 2002, I lost my cousin Adrian Drew to gun violence at age 21. The reason being because the men wanted his 1996 Chevy Lumina in which he was driving with spinning rims on the side. Don’t forget at age 21! He was a college student at UWM and also he worked with his dad (my older cousin) for an Ice Cream Store near 38th and Center. But the days leading to his untimely death, he was chased at least 3 times trying to get to him. Adrian didn’t give up the car, and the day came when he got shot near the area of 47th and Locust we were shocked and saddened by this. The individuals who killed my cousin, they got caught. And served time. But the sentencing portion should have life in prison,  than 10 years! Part of that was a bit twisted. As disappointed as it was, justice was served; but not enough. True story! When all that went down, I didn’t march in the streets, didn’t tell the government officials to stop future projects for the sake of my cousin! There are other ways to seek justice and revive projects (ala the Streetcar) Its been done before. And plus it’s I’m being active by not taking it to the streets! I got firm connections to fight from ranging from education, healthcare, church, and law networks. Believe me, I got them! So, yes Hamilton family. I get it. However, I also think that halting a Streetcar project per say (and I’m being very very careful about this)I think is not going to bring Dontre back. But I feel you. Between 2002 up to right now, I’ve seen projects come and go, and I know that “dang I wish my cousin Adrian was here!” But even those couldn’t bring him back. As well as those in Milwaukee who were gunned down between then and now. I’m keeping it real with this! I’m not trying throw shade or stones. But I’m saying from the middle standpoint. I happened to find an article that might be of an interest to the Black Community in relation to this conflict. Oh, yes I do. And trust me, this article is nearly 10 years old. Since today is a Thursday, and many are going with the Throwback Thursday Mantra, I want to dig up an article that many forgotten about. I want to highlight the year of 2005. Does anyone in Milwaukee, particularity Black Milwaukee remember February 16th, 2005? Doesn’t matter if you listen to WNOV, read the black newspapers of the Milwaukee Courier, the Community Journal, a former listener of 1290. Do you remember this date? Well for those whom may have forgotten, read this courtesy of the associated press: And plus, it was from a site I would never go to – Fox News.

A flurry of shots rang out Wednesday evening on a commuter bus, killing one man and injuring another, police said. Ten to 15 shots were fired on the Milwaukee County Transit (search) bus while it was traveling on the city’s north side. The driver stopped the bus and called police. “The bus driver said, ‘I’m driving and then the shots rang out and then everybody’s piling off the bus,”‘ said Milwaukee Police Capt. Eric Moore. Moore said only one person remained on the bus when police arrived, a 42-year-old man who died in the shooting. A 22-year-old man who was shot in the leg was found outside the bus, Moore said. He was being treated at a local hospital. Police were combing the bus Wednesday night for clues. “We don’t have a motive for the shooting,” Moore said.

Again does this ring a bell? If the Alderman Joe Davis and Bob Donovan were even alive back in 2005 when this happened, do they have any reflection of this incident? They better. Especially for Joe Davis’ sake! This incident occurred on a Milwaukee County Transit System bus on Milwaukee’s northside. And 10 years ago, I was still riding county buses! Oh yes. And check this out, until March of 2005 came, I started driving on my own to point A and point B. The reason I dug up this article is about the “concerns” of what might happen if the Streetcar was to be built in which many forgotten that the MCTS had a past incident that was encountered. Heck, I even read about carjackings in Milwaukee. Wanna go there?! And those whom are pro against the StreetCar, have YOU forgotten this? Has Milwaukee Black Media addressed this? Basically what I’ve been hearing is nothing more than reverse scare tactics. That’s all it is. And when that happens, the folks who think who would win the argument, will spiritually lose. Why? Because of the mindset! (I should be a Psychiatrist!) For many years as far as I remember, we’ve been beating the dead horse about getting jobs here in the city. In any which way we tried. BUT: Why are we stopping ourselves like this?! And if the money does go somewhere else, it will be like the High Speed Rail all over again, and many will look at Milwaukee and Wisconsin as being dorks and fools. You came so close and guess what, you fumbled the ball. It should have been great, but that “Misguided Pride” just had to get in the way. Really?! Usually I don’t dive on the Social Media side of things, but I did. I went on Facebook the other day, and I went to the group called “Penny’s Politics.” It’s an “closed” group page now that discusses the political side of just about anything. I came across a posting about the individuals who were behind the High Speed Rail Project and against Walker, are the same folks who are using that mentality against Tom Barrett and his idea of bringing the Streetcar. When I read the posting on there, it had about 168 comments on it. Mostly positive, Partially Negative. The partially negative part had to come from a female black activist who questioned about the Economic Side in which would be beneficial towards African-Americans. The one answer that this person got is the same one I’ve been saying (via the moderator) is the one thing only: JOBS! That is your economic side of things! I’ve been saying this since the very start of my reasoning behind the streetcar project is one thing, and one thing only is the employment. And I have said so many times that it’s the one thing that is being preached about too much in Milwaukee! And from the reports, the Streetcar would also include a route along MLK Drive, and also in the areas of the Northside of the city. We all know what happened to the last 2 transportation project ideas: GONE!  Why? Due to politics. And to top of all of that, Wisconsin is very good of letting cash slip away. Why do you think that partially that Scott Walker (whom recently got sworn in – again) did that to approve? Not because of the “so-called boondoggles and no one will ride it speeches”. It’s really the ongoing effect of segregation within the state. Don’t believe me, go ask any black Wisconsin resident that knows! Start in Milwaukee.  Go to Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and others where majority of the black residents will tell you the same thing. Even if you have to go to Waukesha where it’s highly Republican. Just today I was on the Urban Milwaukee website. They have published the article about the story that is behind of these referendums of the Streetcar. Mainly this is what I’m talking about. From the conservative like groups from the outside looking in on Milwaukee having these petitions to me is “dangerous”. And partially there are those in those areas who probably don’t give a flip about black folks in Milwaukee. And the connection part that has REALLY scratching my head on this notion is the fact that Joe Davis talked with the reps of this CRG organization (whom are republican related per say) in getting the petitions out in the open of derailing the long awaited Streetcar. Not only that, it might effect those in the Milwaukee Common Council that backed up the project as well. Can anyone say recall?!!! That is what it’s turning into. And by the way, it’s being on circulated on Facebook. CALLOUT: Hey Black Milwaukee, I hope you done your homework!!!!!!!!! Not on the Streetcar, but with a conservative twist of CRG (Citizens for Responsible Government)  that partially does not like you!  Black Milwaukee Activists: When you’re out there saying #TEAMSHUTITDOWN on Facebook, I’m praying for you. And I want the backers of Alderman Joe Davis to do a homework assignment on a person of Orv Seymer. Do a background check. And word on the street is that he kind of poaches after inner city residents and has bad references with his work. This is one of the men that the Alderman was conversating with before the year of 2014 was ending. Again read the article from Urban Milwaukee. Speaking of Facebook, if those haven’t gone in (in a defensive counter thing) on a group page that is Anti-Streetcar, find the page called “STOP the Milwaukee Streetcar.” Which also, is an apparent catalyst in driving these petitions. And the organization that is behind the ordeal, (according to the comments on Urban Milwaukee) is Sobelman’s. Does that name sound familiar to someone who like burgers? And maybe others behind the support might be Sherman Perk, the Packing House, and the Plainfield Pub. For the record, I have NOT visited these places in Milwaukee, and don’t expect me to spend my hard earned money for a burger, coffee, or beer. And plus I challenge anyone in Milwaukee to go in on this Anti-Streetcar Page and just deliver the real truth of why the StreetCar project should matter to Milwaukee without all these rumors. Even though they know the truth, but just don’t want to hear it! MAKE THEM LISTEN! Many are talking about the hate of the Streetcar, but what about the hate against the Milwaukee County Transit System where it couldn’t get to the jobs as needed at times?! Tell me that! They can’t go to Kenosha and to Amazon. And many forget, some companies (not all)  don’t allow employers to take buses! Think about that! And if it doesn’t go well, what will the opponents have that pros didn’t? That’s needs to be in question! In relates to jobs, economics black folks, etc. Don’t just keep saying #SHUTITDOWN. I say #WHATDOYOUHAVE or #YOUBETTERNEEDSOMETHING. Or #OKNOWWHATYOUAREBRINGING. Or a better hashtag: #WHATISYOURPLAN. Plus if a chance, read the article of “The streetcar isn’t everything, but it’s a big step in the right direction” via the OnMilwaukee.com website.


For the last couple of years or so, the City of Milwaukee, the brew city as everyone knows, that the debate about having a streetcar system has been passed around like a hot potato. It’s been a topic since Mayor John Norquist has been in effect, and also in the last couple of weeks of hot button topics and personal opinions, the StreetCar (not the Trolley thing) project has been put on the table yet again. In the more recent months before the start of the Christmas season, there has been alot of talk about the 833 Building and the potential building of the Couture site near the lakefront. The Couture is slated to be near or at the site of the Milwaukee County Downtown Transit Center near Lincoln Memorial Drive. There was a rendering of the building in which from an artist perspective of different sites of walkways, pathways, intermodal-like stations, and many others. Plus also, this idea has endured the idea of a potential StreetCar project within that area in terms of a route. All of that in my opinion is seeming to pick up of interest. The MAIN thing I am concerned with the Streetcar Project is one thing and one thing only: JOBS!

I don’t care if any Milwaukeean is an antagonist or feel that the Streetcar may not get to the farther side of the city in terms of jobs. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel TODAY published a story about potential jobs for the upcoming year of 2015. Pay attention, job seekers and media. I don’t know what types of jobs will be available in the upcoming year, but if it has something to do with the Northwestern Mutual Tower Project, the Couture Building Project, and or the 833 Building, or maybe the new home of the Milwaukee Bucks, this does count in my view. Plus also, if it goes all well, why not include the Streetcar? I know that many and Alderman Joe Davis, and even Robert Donovan and many others are opposing it due to luxury, or something that many feel may not ride or being too much spending. On not getting to where the jobs are per say. With all due respect to them, and those who support the opposition, I say this and this only: BUILD THE DARN THING!

Why do I feel this way? I want all those to pay attention. Antagonists, Black Milwaukee, Millennials, Gen X’ers who don’t drive, Baby Boomers, Downtown Milwaukee Workers and Residents, and others to listen up! Here is my GENERAL reason. Over the last couple of years from blogging on MyFoxMilwaukee to now, I have highlighted that Milwaukee and/or Wisconsin is a tail-end city and state. Right? Over the course of the years, I have commented about being behind in transportation, and many other things as well. Mainly with transportation. I talked about the KRM terminal route that would have linked Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee, but apparently is that working? No. Why? Due to politics. And most recently, we had a thing called the High Speed Rail Project that would have linked Madison and Milwaukee for not only transportation, but also for getting to where the jobs are. Similar to my opinion, to the KRM Route. Did that worked out? NO! Why? Again politics. And those who felt that having a HSR train was a boondoggle, obviously don’t know the facts or just want to keep it segregated. Speaking of that: on the ballot from last month, remember when the question about the Transportation Fund? In which the state should go get it’s own Transpiration account for infrastructure only which leads to roads and bridges repair, and many other factors? Let’s see: How did we voted on that? According to the Milwaukee Election Commission, the results ended in which 77.45% of us Milwaukee folks voted Yes. And 22.55% voted no. So many of us who voted yes, to have this Transportation Account thing, for the use of Transportation related issues, there is your answer. And I don’t think that it’s not really all segregated. In lieu of all this, there might be funds or income in your accounts right now in a business stand point that you can’t use. Why? its reserved of a particular use and use only for that objective! Does that make sense? I studied this when the question came out and understood it towards the end.

State Referendum Question 1 Vote For 1

Yes . . . . . . . . . . . . 122,161   77.45  

No. . . . . . . . . . . . . 35,578     22.55

Next week, on December 16th, which is about 9 days before you unwrap those mystery gifts and talk about Jesus’ birth. The Common Council will decide to see if the Streetcar project would move forward to approve.  And also before that happens,  there is a support page per say on the Urban Milwaukee Website in which you the citizen can voice your opinion. Basically, you fill out the form in all, and write a message in supporting the idea of having this project to move forward officially. And in fairness, concerns as well and etc.

Like I said,  I know many don’t like this idea. BUT if it matters on a verge of getting jobs here in Milwaukee that many preached so many times, then what’s the hold up? I hear this on Milwaukee black radio, I read this in the newspapers, Social Media, and word of mouth from those of many sources. But like many said before, you need something! Not many are not to go into construction work, but willing to work for construction in many other areas. Same with finance. Same with safety. Same with other forms of occupations. EVEN trying to get to where the jobs are. But in order to do that, start from within. Which means start from Wisconsin Avenue Downtown and work out to the next county line.


Some of the Milwaukee’s most important organizations gathered together recently to debate about the Milwaukee Connector. This is a new transportation process that would gurantee the citizens to get to their places of destination faster than the Milwaukee County Transit. Nothing wrong against the transit, I mean they can be conveinent. Now there are some concerned people who feel that Milwaukee should not have this “connector” in the city. I mean the brew is some what behind in other cities when it comes  to faster transportation, but I think this…Milwaukee should have this!, but not just in the city. Put the connector out near the areas where people could get to work or school with the hassle of worring about how to get to their destinations. Put the connector near the county borders where workers can get to jobs in Waukesha, Port Washington, Grafton, or maybe Racine/Kenosha. And what about jobs? Face it, the brew city needs a employment makeover! So many jobs lost, and I think it is due to downsizing, layoffs, and I think many others. Maybe if, IF more citizens (who truly love Milwaukee) were to get behind this new connector idea, there would be more jobs added to Milwaukee’s Job Repitore.(hint, hint) That’s what I think. I’m not about reflecting about the legality of Milwaukee’s past. I’m concerned about Milwaukee’s feasable future!
Here’s the link: Milwaukee Connector Judge for yourself!
Published May 10, 2006 at 5:20 p.m.

Barrett vetoes Milwaukee Connector
By OMC Staff Writers

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett vetoed the Milwaukee Connector project Wednesday afternoon, saying his move is a “call for fiscal honesty.”

Barrett sent the Milwaukee Common Council a letter outlining his objections to the bill passed Tuesday. He said the $91 million in Interstate Cost Estimate funds must be used for transit improvements, and not property tax dollars.

Next steps on this project are unknown. More than 15 similar-sized cities have already implemented modern, fixed-guideway transit systems.

The following is the full text of the letter:

May 10, 2006

To the Honorable, the Common Council of the City of Milwaukee

Honorable Members of the Common Council:

I am vetoing File Number 051610, a substitute resolution relating to the Milwaukee Connector project.

I have always been, and continue to be, a strong proponent of mass transit. Consequently, my veto should not be interpreted as an action against transit improvements. Rather, it should be interpreted as a call for fiscal honesty.

I have said that the current system needs to be upgraded and that Milwaukeeans deserve a first-class system. I have publicly stated, and the Council agrees, that no property tax dollars should be used to fund the project. I also concur with the Council that Milwaukee County Transit should manage and operate the preferred alternative.

I have been firm in my position that the remaining $91 million in Interstate Cost Estimate (ICE) funds must be used for transit improvements. As a member of Congress, I fought to secure and keep those funds in Milwaukee. If necessary, I will continue that fight.

I am exercising my veto authority for the following reasons:

  1. The resolution approved by the Common Council does not include a funding source for the federally required local match. The citizens of Milwaukee deserve to know specifically how the Common Council wants the $57 million local share to be paid. It’s easy to say how to spend money. The hard part is identifying where the money is going to come from. To move ahead with a $300 million alternative, without details on financing, would be fiscally irresponsible. Opponents of the Southeast Wisconsin Regional Plan Commission’s [(SEWRPC) plan to tear up Milwaukee neighborhoods for freeway expansions often cite the financial implications of the plan as their reasons for not supporting it. I count myself among that group. The same standard should be applied to the $300 million electric bus alternative.
  2. The funding scheme presented shows $25 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds and $127 million in federal New Start Funds. My concern is what will happen if those funds do not materialize in the amounts presented. Will the local match increase? Will the funding source identified protect against any funding shortfalls?
  3. I commend the Wisconsin District’s study team for its community outreach efforts. Over 300 community briefing sessions were held as well as a series of public hearings; however, more outreach and input is needed from current transit riders who, in order to reach their destination, would have to transfer multiple times should the alternative supported by the Common Council be built. These individuals and those who will lose routes and current service need to be heard from. In addition, neighborhood residents and businesses that will be impacted by the construction of overhead, electric guide wires, poles and stations, as well as the loss of on-street parking, need to fully understand what it at stake.
  4. Finally, there is no guarantee that the Milwaukee County Transit will manage and operate the guided electric bus alternative. The County Board resolution on the subject does not specify a preferred alternative. The County resolution states that Milwaukee County Transit should operate the preferred alternative – either the hybrid buses or the guided electric buses. If we are all in agreement that Milwaukee County Transit should operate the system, then why shouldn’t we all agree on the preferred alternative?
The process in which the Common Council chose to support the guided electric bus alternative has left many questions unanswered. For an alternative to move forward, we all deserve to have those issues addressed.

Sincerely,

Tom Barrett
Mayor

Common Council President Willie L. Hines, Jr. minced few words in lambasting Mayor Tom Barrett for his veto today of a resolution passed Tuesday by the Common Council supporting the Milwaukee Connector project.

“When the business leaders and citizens of this city looked to Mayor Barrett for leadership, he offered none,” said Ald. Hines. “It’s disappointing that when the City of Milwaukee had the opportunity to move into the 21st century, this mayor is driving a Studebaker stuck in the 1950s,” Ald. Hines said. “This is a $ 300 million project funded largely with federal and state dollars, and it is a system that will be built by Milwaukeeans for Milwaukeeans. How the Mayor of Milwaukee would be opposed to such a project is mind boggling.”

The Milwaukee Connector is a 13-mile guided system of electric street tram buses that would serve key areas of the city. Estimates, according to the plan that is more than six years in the making, indicate that ridership on routes served by the Connector will increase 20%.

In-line transit systems like the guided street tram have proven to spark neighborhood and downtown development throughout the country. Unlike traditional buses that run on gasoline, the Milwaukee Connector will run on overhead electrical wires and is not reliant on gas. The Council resolution supporting the Milwaukee Connector – approved yesterday on a 9-6 vote — does not authorize the expenditure of any funds and specifically prohibits the use of property tax dollars for funding the system.

“The same people who are opposed to the Milwaukee Connector are those who for years have been opposed to Milwaukee’s progress,” said Ald. Hines. “These same nay sayers opposed the demolition and redevelopment of the Park East freeway. They opposed the building of Miller Park in downtown Milwaukee. They opposed public investment in the Riverwalk and they said that downtown housing and the condo boom would never happen. History has proven them wrong in each case.”

Ald Hines continued: “Now, those same people have been joined by the Mayor of Milwaukee in opposing a new, clean and efficient transit system that will move people to jobs, foster new tax base and attract and retain young people. The Common Council of the City of Milwaukee cannot allow this to happen.”

 

 

Milwaukee cannot afford to lose this chance

By TIMOTHY SHEEHY
Posted: May 6, 2006

Consider that more than 21% of Milwaukeeans don’t own a car. For local African-Americans, that percentage rises to 32%.

Consider a growing mismatch between where jobs are created and where the jobless are and a downtown today that would have been unrecognizable 17 years ago.

Consider that our once-robust county bus system is becoming a shell of its former self as routes are cut, fares have increased and annual ridership has dropped from almost 54 million to just over 46 million in the past five years.

Consider that we are one of only two major cities without a fixed transit system, and that while we “studied” our options for 17 years, almost everyone else has both built and expanded their systems.

Finally, consider that the Milwaukee County Transit System is the largest bus transit system funded by a property tax.

Now, think about the value of a new addition to the transit system that would extend through some of the poorest census tracts in the city, link almost every major destination downtown (including Miller Park), connect major employers, service Marquette University, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, improve transit service, reduce congestion on Wisconsin Ave., attract new riders and operate at less cost than the current transit system.

You might say priceless, but of course, it is not.

The system – a single-rail, curbside guided tram – will cost $300 million dollars.

But before you say too expensive, consider the growing cost of inaction, lost opportunities and a rapidly declining transit system.

Saying “no” is not a strategy.

Why say “yes” to this two-route, 13-mile guided transit system?

Here is why: We have and should continue to make investments in improving our highway and road system, but we need a strategy for mass transit.

We need a system that links our neighborhoods to the local bus systems, our bus system to express transit on major routes, and the city to other regional and urban destinations.

Putting our head in the sand is not a strategy.

What the system does is provide a strategy for linking local bus routes to express transit on major routes, and it does so in a cost-effective, modern, reliable fashion.

Cost effective:

All but $57 million of the $300 million in capital costs would be covered by federal funding, which we never seem to get our share of.

The remaining $57 million would be paid for from local funds through a 20-year bond at a cost of about $4 million per year.

The application of additional Federal Transit Administration funding from a standard formula would reduce that debt service to $2.6 million.

The remaining debt service would be covered with non-property tax sources of revenue, which would be detailed and approved before this project could be built.

We believe more transit funding from dedicated existing state transportation fees is a big part of this answer.

The efficiencies of operating the connector system as part of the Milwaukee County Transit System would actually result in a small surplus from operations.

The cost of a declining dysfunctional transit system has to be considered in this equation.

Modern:

No other major urban area in the U.S. operates without a modern, fixed transit system (except Indianapolis, and its system is under study).

This system would more efficiently move people. For example, the connector systme would reduce 1,200 bus trips down Wisconsin Ave., providing better service.

It would be part of the infrastructure supporting urban life for everyone from young professionals to urban job seekers to students.

Reliable:

The guided street tram has distinct advantages over a bus.

You can see exactly where it runs and when it runs.

Its performance has been proven in climates similar to ours – snow, ice and all.

Its reliability has attracted solid (in the billions) investment along the routes in other cities, much like the RiverWalk has done here in Milwaukee.

For those elected officials who have questions, ask them.

We have been searching for a solution and answering questions over the past five years.

While we have waited for leadership, the $91 million in federal funds set aside in 1987 for a locally preferred alternative has declined in purchasing power by $56 million

For those who think “no” is a strategy, we urge you to come up with a better alternative, because inaction does have a consequence to existing transit service.

It would be hard to find a more apt name for this next generation urban transit system than the connector.

We either connect with the future or get stuck in the past.

Timothy Sheehy is president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

 

From the May 7, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Milwaukee needs a transit solution

By STEVE HINIKER
Posted: May 15, 2006

By pulling the plug on the electric bus system study, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has opened a much-needed discussion about the future of transit in southeastern Wisconsin.

 

 

The Milwaukee Connector was proposed as a compromise that tried to attract supporters and critics of light rail alike. It didn’t work. The connector was seen as an unproven technology for cold-weather cities and a system that lacked a track record in stimulating economic development. Rather than attracting support, the Milwaukee Connector attracted opposition from critics and supporters of light rail.

It’s time to move on and get a real transit solution for Milwaukee.

As downtown Milwaukee booms with new residents and new businesses, the future for the city is brighter than at any point in the past 40 years. Old neighborhoods are becoming rejuvenated, and new neighborhoods are being created. Entertainment districts are booming.

Despite this new development, the city still lacks a healthy mix of transit

options. Unlike Portland,

Seattle, San Diego, St. Louis, Minneapolis or other cities enjoying new growth, Milwaukee has no real plans for a 21st-century transportation system.

In order to sustain new development, Milwaukee needs to start developing an integrated transportation system immediately. The interstate construction is under way. A study linking downtown with communities to the south via commuter rail is nearly complete.

However, city residents and visitors have few transit options inside city borders. A commuter arriving via rail will be lucky if his destination is near the rail station – otherwise it could be a long walk or wait for a bus.

In order to complete the transportation system, Milwaukee should immediately begin the study of a modern streetcar system that will give mobility to those who either can’t or don’t want to drive a car in the city. With gas prices soaring and parking becoming more expensive and harder to find, a streetcar system provides an excellent alternative. It also improves mobility options for city residents.

Streetcars are a proven technology that is used successfully throughout Europe and in many growing U.S. cities. Unlike the larger light rail vehicles, streetcars are a neighborhood scale mode of transit that is reliable, quiet and comfortable. They help attract new development and are far less expensive to construct than light rail systems. Unlike the Milwaukee Connector, they rely on a proven technology that has existed for more than 100 years.

More than 20 cities in Wisconsin had streetcars at one time – most of them in the years before cheap oil. Now that oil is becoming expensive again, it’s time to reconsider streetcars and what they can do for cities.

If Milwaukee is going to compete with other cities for economic growth, it had better be prepared to invest in modern transit.

Steve Hiniker is executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, an environmental group.

From the May 16, 2006 editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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