Dan Shafer
Winners & Losers

TCD’s week in review

The Brewers keep fighting, BMO Harris makes a donation, Glenn Grothman opposes wind farms, Next Chapter closes its doors, and the Packers defeat the Bears.

By - Sep 14th, 2012 11:54 am
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WINNERS

The resurgent Milwaukee Brewers

Left for dead after dealing Zack Greinke at the trade deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers have rallied to go 18-5 over the last 23 games and now sit 3.5 games back of the new-in-2012 second Wild Card. The biggest difference for the Crew? Winning at home. The Brewers have only lost two home games since the July 31 trade deadline, and haven’t lost a single home game since Aug. 19 (Randy Wolf’s last start in Milwaukee), sweeping the Astros, Reds, Pirates, Cubs and Braves along the way. The Brewers host the fading New York Mets for a three-game series at Miller Park this weekend before a 10-game road trip in Pittsburgh, Washington and Cincinnati.

Kevin Kennedy, Government Accountability Board

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has been pushing hard for the state to implement new voter ID requirements before the Nov. 6 election despite the fact that two Dane County judges have blocked the law. Van Hollen recently requested the Supreme Court take the case, though a similar request was denied in April. On Wednesday, Kevin Kennedy, director of the state’s Government Accountability Board publicly stated that he does not want the Supreme Court to act on voter ID this fall, saying a change in state voter ID policy within the next eight weeks would be difficult to implement given the time constraints, and that people without the proper IDs would have to scramble to get them in time for the election.

Growing the “Good Food Revolution”

1,500 people from 40 states and 11 countries gathered at a large exhibition hall at State Fair Park last weekend for Growing Power‘s National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference. The conference included various workshops and discussions related to Will Allen and Growing Power’s mission to grow the “good food revolution.”

Area home sales

Milwaukee metro-area home sales were up 21 percent in the month of August. The biggest gain came from Waukesha County, were sales were up 42.7 percent, and Milwaukee County also showed an 11.5 percent increase. Work started on 104 new houses in August, the most seen since 2007.

Milwaukee’s infants

$750,000 will be donated to the United Way of Greater Milwaukee over the next three years by BMO Harris Bank. The donation will go toward fighting the city’s infant mortality crisis. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, “In Milwaukee, a baby dies before his or her first birthday about every three days. Among large cities, Milwaukee has one of the worst rates of infant mortality in the nation.” $150,000 of the donation will go to Progressive Community Health Centers, and another large portion of the donation will go toward expanding the United Way’s Healthy Birth Initiative.

LOSERS

Thompson campaign staffer Brian Nemoir

Before congresswoman Tammy Baldwin spoke at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Sept. 6, Brian Nemoir of Tommy Thompson’s senate campaign staff sent an email to “a handful of select contacts” that included a link to a video of Baldwin dancing at a gay pride event at the UW-Madison campus, and questioned whether her presence at the event represents “heartland values.” Nemoir, Thompson’s political director, has said he was not communicating on behalf of the Thompson campaign. On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Thompson called the email a “mistake,” apologized, and said Nemoir will no longer be handling press communications but will remain with the campaign.

The Elmbrook School District

Parents in the Elmbrook School District are voicing concern over increased class sizes at schools in the district. The recent closing of Hillside Elementary in Brookfield for budgetary reasons has led to larger class sizes at Swanson Elementary in Brookfield and Tonawanda Elementary in Elm Grove. One Swanson Elementary parent said, “I certainly don’t like that there are 30 kids in the class.” The report says that this particular classroom is one of four at Swanson that is at its maximum size. In comparison, estimates for average class size at Milwaukee Public Schools for the 2011-2012 school year was at 33-34 students.

Glenn Grothman: Wind Farm Opponent

State Senator Glenn Grothman is nothing short of the Wisconsin State Senate’s version of Todd Akin. In March of this year, Grothman introduced a bill that would formally deem nonmarital parenthood a contributing factor to child abuse, sponsored legislation that ultimately repealed the state’s Equal Pay Act, saying “You could argue that money is more important for men,” and has also said women need to be educated that unplanned pregnancies are a mistake. This week, Grothman spoke out on another issue: wind farms. Grothman announced plans to introduce a bill that would freeze renewable energy requirements, aiming to stop wind farm development. In 2006, the state enacted new energy requirements so that 10 percent of the state’s energy would come from renewable sources by 2015. In Grothman’s district, a Wisconsin-based developer, EEW Services LLC, is looking to build a 400-acre wind farm consisting of four turbines in the Town of Sherman. According to the Sheboygan Press, the wind farm “could generate up to 12 megawatts of electricity, or enough for about 4,000 average residential homes.” Grothman is up for re-election this fall in the 20th State Senate District, facing Democrat Tanya Lohr.

Next Chapter Bookshop, 2009-2012

In a press release sent on Tuesday, Sept. 11, Next Chapter Bookshop announced that the store is permanently closed. The Mequon store opened in April of 2009. Milwaukee’s Boswell Books and Oconomowoc’s Books & Company will pick up many Next Chapter’s planned author events.

The Chicago Bears 

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 23-10 at Lambeau Field on Thursday night. The Packers defense shined with seven sacks and four interceptions. Cornerback Tramon Williams had as many interceptions as much-heralded offseason acquisition Brandon Marshall had receptions. The Packers defense has had its problems, but continues to own Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who has a career win-loss record of 1-7 against Green Bay. The one win, in 2010, included a Devin Hester punt return. The Packers have a long break before the next game, against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football on Sept. 24, while the Bears…

Follow Dan Shafer on Twitter at @danshaferMKE.

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