Dan Shafer
Winners & Losers

TCD’s week in review (2/24/12)

By - Feb 24th, 2012 04:00 am


1. National League MVP Ryan Braun 

In a stunning turn of events, Ryan Braun will not serve a 50-game suspension. Braun becomes the first player in Major League Baseball history to successfully overturn a suspension for a positive test for a banned substance. Arbitrator Shyam Das cast the deciding vote in the 2-1 decision, much to the MLB’s chagrin, as they said in a statement that they “vehemently disagree” with the results. Twitter erupted with news of the #exoneration Thursday afternoon, and even Aaron Rodgers jumped into the mix, tweeting, “MLB and cable sports tried to sully the reputation of an innocent man. Picked the wrong guy to mess with. Truth will set u free.” Details aside, this is AMAZING news for the Brewers, who were preparing for an opening day without Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun, and now can set aside the biggest albatross of a somewhat troublesome offseason. Prediction: There will be a whole lot of this going on this weekend. Baseball in 40 days.

2. Russ Feingold 

It’s been quite the week for the former Wisconsin senator. Feingold released his new book, While America Sleeps: A Wake-Up Call for the Post-9/11 Era, appeared on The Daily Show, where he called the Citizens United Supreme Court decision “one of the worst decisions in the history of the country,” and was named as an honorary co-chair to President Obama’s reelection campaign.

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Russ Feingold
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3. A new wind turbine 

Construction on the city of Milwaukee’s wind turbine was completed this week at the Port of Milwaukee’s administration building. The turbine is now being prepared for connection to the power grid. City director of environmental sustainability Matt Howard told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “We’re happy that it’s 100% made in the U.S. and that we’ve got Wisconsin manufacturers contributing parts to the turbine.”

4. Timothy Westbrook

The Pfister Hotel named its new Artist-in-Residence this week, and the winner is New York-based fiber artist Timothy Westbrook, who will relocate to Milwaukee for the opportunity to work in The Pfister’s studio space. Current Artist-in-Residence Shelby Keefe will be passing the torch to Westbrook in April, and recently reflected on her residency for the Pfister’s Hotel Blog.

5. Outpost Natural Foods 

The Milwaukee food co-op reported an 8 percent increase in sales in 2011. The company has seen a seven percent job growth rate and plans to open a fourth location in the area later this year.


1. Gov. Walker’s favorability 

A new poll from the Marquette University Law School shows that Gov. Walker’s favorability dropped in January. The poll shows that 48 percent view Walker unfavorably, compared to 46 percent favorable. One indicator for this could be the ongoing John Doe investigation, which 52 percent of those polled believed to be “really something serious.”  The poll also shows former Gov. Tommy Thompson leading Rep. Tammy Baldwin 48 to 42 percent in the race for Sen. Herb Kohl’s soon-to-be-vacant seat, and shows President Obama leading all Republican challengers by at least 10 percent.

2. Rep. Joel Kleefisch 

State Assembly representative Joel Kleefisch (R – Oconomowoc) was caught on video casting votes for absent members of the assembly. Though it is only legal for members present in the Assembly Chamber to vote, the rule still extends to members who are in the bathroom or the parlor. Apparently, this happens all the time on both sides of the aisle. In other news, new voter ID laws went into effect this week.

3. The Brothers Koch

Wisconsin Democrats filed a complaint this week with the Government Accountability Board involving statements made by conservative financier David Koch to the Palm Beach Post. Koch discussed his and his group, Americans for Prosperity’s support of Gov. Scott Walker. He said: “We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” Wisconsin Dems say that Americans for Prosperity, along with the MacIver Institute in Wisconsin, are working from an improper designation as a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3).

4. Soref’s Carpet City 

After 45 years doing business in Milwaukee, Soref’s Carpet City is closing its doors. The business is facing several lawsuits for unpaid taxes or bills. Local commercials may never be the same.

photo by Jennell Jenney for ThirdCoast Digest5. The Times and Rosebud cinemas

Earlier this week, it was reported that the independently owned Times and Rosebud cinemas were going to be closed, possibly as early as Sunday, Feb. 26. However, reports surfaced later in the week that ownership of the the cinemas could be turned over to former owner Jay Hollis. Regardless of whether or not they will stay open, this period of uncertainty is certainly unfortunate for fans of independent cinema in the city of Milwaukee.

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