Michael Horne
The Roundup

“Thugs” a Favorite Frankovis Term

By - Dec 29th, 2003 08:00 am

Last week the big news was that Third District Captain Glenn Frankovis had been reassigned after referring to bad guys as “thugs.” Chief Nan Hegerty and community members took exception to the Captain talking like a cop – a television cop, as some would have it..

Well, if use of the word “thug” by police officials is insensitive and inappropriate, somebody could have warned Frankovis a few years ago when he was the captain of the Fifth District.

On May 9, 2001, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an article by Jim Kogutkiewicz, then a college stringer and now a reporter with the Waukesha Freeman. The article was entitled “Police reinstate Riverwest patrols,” and told of Frankovis’s decision to bring beat cops back to the east side neighborhood. “’I like to think I have an idea of what works and what doesn’t work,’ Frankovis said. ‘I myself have walked a beat in this area. I know what can be done. I want thugs to be afraid of us.’”

Interestingly, Frankovis frank comments and ready quotability caused some problems for Kogutkiewicz, who says he spent “most of the morning of May 9, 2001 on the phone with a Journal Sentinel editor talking about Frankovis’ second-to-last quote in the story.” That quote had nothing to do with thugs, he noted. It was Frankovis’ response to a neighborhood woman who had heard gunshots outside her home just before a neighborhood crime meeting. The troubling quote, from the captain: “I’m not a statistician. I’m not going to stand here and say, ‘You don’t have a chance to get killed in this neighborhood.’”

Website Roundup: The County Executive Candidates on the web

Good heavens! We have less than one hundred days to the election, according to a handy counter on Scott Walker’s web page. We have even fewer days until the primary election here in Wisconsin, scheduled for February 17th. This will be the first election in which it is de rigueur for a candidate to have a website, so it will be fun to see how different candidates establish a presence on the internet. Let’s look at the county executive candidates and their sites. Scott Walker’s site, for example, is full of photos of the Milwaukee County Executive doing all sorts of public and semi-private things, like greeting President George W. Bush upon his visit to Milwaukee last October. Walker also appears in a photo vignette of the opening of his headquarters at 1606 S. 84th Street in the city of West Allis. Walker’s site is very red-white and bluesy, and Eagle Scout Scott has clipped every article about himself and posted them in the “news” section of the site. You could call Scott Walker by a new nickname – “IRV,” an acronym for “Integrity … Reform … Vision,” the Walker campaign motto. The website includes a section called, “Issues.” When you click on it, you get this message: “Coming Soon.” Drat! The campaign also promises “Action Items.” When you click on that, you get this message: “Download Nomination Paper Here.” Lots of style, for sure, but weak on substance. … Challenger David Riemer’s site has a novel feature – you click on to his various departments by completing an arrow, just like the ones on the ballots on election day. Riemer gives us his history, which includes two college degrees, both from a Massachusetts institution called “Harvard University.” One of those degrees gives Riemer the right to practice law, which he has done very sparingly over the years. Mostly he’s been busy helping Norquist run the city, and Doyle run the state. Now he wants to run the county. His site trumpets his numerous endorsements… Joe Klein is the third candidate running for the county executive position. The Riverwest resident has secured the endorsement of the Green Party, and has a website with advertising content, a novel move. Klein is one of the first Milwaukeeans to embrace the internet, although he claims the “alternet” was a much better idea. During the fall of the Soviet Union, the techy Klein was already following events live on his computer, back when it took quite some skill to do what is quite simple now. Klein’s site calls for community ownership of the Milwaukee Brewers, a county-based web network, and calls W2 and the Private Industry Council “failures.” Riemer, of course, was the author of the W2 legislation that changed Wisconsin’s welfare system. An animated map on Klein’s webpage purports to demonstrate the growth of unemployed in Milwaukeee’s central city due to the effects of W2.

Klein seeks to paint his two opponents with the same brush, and has authored “A Tale of Two Scrooges.” As far as he’s concerned, both Riemer and Walker are deeply in the “Bah Humbug!” camp. Klein calls for “change that sweeps out Scott Walker and keeps out David Riemer.”

Ex-Milwaukeean in the News: Bringing life to a dead language

Many times when Milwaukeeans leave town you never hear of them again, and often enough when you do they fail to mention their old hometown. As George F. Kennan said, “Milwaukee held no charms for me.” Along comes Reginald Foster, whom the Economist Magazine calls “Latin’s loudest advocate in the modern world. Bumptious, bespectacled, in overalls and from Milwaukee, he is so devoted to Latin that he greets visitors with ‘Ave!’”

The Carmelite priest has lived in Rome for decades, and he is the editor of the new “Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis,” a 700 page book that uses Italian as its second language and costs $116. The reference work’s premise is that new inventions need Latin names, apparently so the Pope can then issue encyclicals about them. According to the dictionary, a “sonorarum visualiumque taeniarum cistellula,” which the Economist translates as “a little box of ribbons of sounds and sights,” is a videocassette.

Milwaukee in the Times: All the news that’s fit to bash Bud

The New York Times has weighed in on our major league baseball franchise, the Milwaukee Brewers. “Baseball Makes a Mess in Milwaukee,” reads the headline of the December 21st story. According to the Times, “…the Brewers appear to be violating their covenants with the people of Wisconsin and with the players’ union, as the commissioner seems to be standing by. … By refusing to invest in today’s team, the Brewers are squandering the rich revenue opportunities of a new stadium as well as breaking the bonds of trust with their fans.” The article, by Andrew Zimbalist, has harsh words for Commissioner Allen H. “Bud” Selig, claiming that he insisted that revenue sharing be restructured “so that the third quartile of teams receive a proportionately larger benefit than the bottom quartile.” The article points out that the Brewers “just happen to be in the third quartile and just happen to have increased their net revenue-sharing receipts by more than any other team.” Brewers revenue-sharing jumped from $1.5 million in 2001 to $18 million in 2003, the Times said, citing a Brewers financial document used to woo potential investors. A caption to an unflattering photo of Selig (there is no other kind) says “Bud Selig’s decisions as commissioner directly affect the team his family runs.” The Times’ final word on the team? “Something here doesn’t compute.”

Gay Bash for Folaron: Chides Barrett at fundraiser

Sandy Folaron appears to be the first mayoral candidate to reach out to Milwaukee’s gay community. Supporters met the candidate at Aqua Upscale Lounge on December 21st to hear her message. She claimed that Tom Barrett voted in 1996 in favor of HR 3396, better known as the Defense of Marriage Act. Folaron says she “believes members of the LGBT community should not be prohibited from enjoying the same rights and privileges as those members of our society who are permitted to form a legal marriage.” She added, “So why does Tom Barrett think that LGBT couples do not deserve equal rights under the law?” Barrett supporters point out that the former congressman has received many endorsements from the gay community in the past.

Sponsors of the Folaron event included Kenny Pinard, owner of Belle Fiore Floral & Gifts, Paul Bartz and K.C. Miller of Stella’s Salon, Michael Davis, Eugene Cook, Stewart Dempsey and Mike Viers.

High Speed Rail Comes to Town: $3 million is cheap for a choo-choo

Every now and then rail enthusiasts get worked up about announcements that a high speed rail car is coming to town, usually limping here at “track” (not high) speed, and often towed by another locomotive to save fuel. A few years ago ABB brought out their prototype vehicle, featuring such dazzling innovations as internet portals by passenger seats, and a very plush, streamlined interior. On December 15th Colorado Railcar Company displayed its new self-propelled commuter railcar at the Amtrak station. The 90 seat car, while not nearly as luxurious as the ABB model, seems open and inviting, with a particularly large and accessible bathroom. And now, the internet is wireless! The DMU is powered by twin 600-horsepower Detroit Diesel engines, and comes with a two year warranty. The self-propelled design translates to operating savings, according to Tom Janacky, Vice President for sales of the rail company concern. The machine gets a whopping 2 miles per gallon, whereas a locomotive consumes up to 3 gallons per mile. Janacky has been riding the rails across the country with his machine and was on his way to Washington, D.C. with his $2.9 million toy. He said it would be towed by a locomotive as part of a larger train, rather than head to the nation’s capital on its own steam. Why? “It’s cheaper that way.” he said, adding that operating costs for a train exceed $50 a mile, a stiff price when there are no passengers on board. Further information is available at www.ColoradoRailcar.com.

“Juse the Facts”: Is UWM a center for temperance?

“Most students are making healthy choices,” reads the headline on a poster displayed at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. The poster, featuring healthy-looking students, notes that “67% of UWM students have 0-4 drinks per week,” which some might contend is an alarmingly low number. The survey bears the logo “just the Facts,” and was based on data collected in “a Spring 2001 survey of randomly selected UWM students.” This random survey apparently was not conducted in the UWM Gasthaus. The salutary claims of the poster did not go unheeded by a student satirist who composed a poster with a different claim. This one features the UWM students that most of us seem to know, with the politely-asterisked headline, “Most students are just getting f*cked up!” The poster, sponsored this time by “The REAL facts,” asserts that “67% of UWM students have 10-40 drinks per week.” Take your pick, make mine a double.

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