TCD’s week in review (3/02/12)
In a letter titled “The community’s silence is deafening” in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, MPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton boldly and eloquently spoke out against the lack of outrage over losing four students — DeQuann, Eddie, Rodderick and Mark — to gun violence on the streets of Milwaukee. He said, “In the past several weeks, we lost four students on the streets of Milwaukee. Each young man was shot to death in a separate incident. You don’t remember the names? We remember them. They were DeQuann, Eddie, Rodderick and Mark, ages 18, 16, 17 and 18, respectively. These were young men who somebody loved. They were boys who sat in our classrooms and laughed in the hallways and played ball in the parks. And now, all four of them are dead. Please don’t turn away. Please do not dismiss the lives of these boys as not worth your time.” Thornton called for a special school board meeting, which was held in the MPS Central Services auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 27, to further address the issue of youth violence.
It’s always wonderful to see a homegrown company with a long history in this city do well, so it comes as great news that Peter Sciortino’s Bakery is expanding. The Vella family, owners of the 65-year-old bakery on the corner of Humboldt and Brady, has purchased a single family house to the south of the building and plans to add more production space the location to boost Sciortino’s growing wholesale business.
3. Wisconsin veterans
Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Senate Bill 413 on Wednesday, which codifies part of the federal HEART Act into law, ensuring benefits for members of the military in active duty overseas, and is designed to ease the burden on veterans returning home to Wisconsin. Unemployment among veterans is currently more than double the state’s 7.1 percent unemployment rate. After signing the bill at American Legion Post 449 in Brookfield, Walker said “We’re going to make the employment of returning veterans a No. 1 priority not just of veterans affairs, but of our administration.” In one of the rarest occurrences in Wisconsin state government in 2012, the bill passed with bipartisan support.
Opposition from Republican state senator Dale Schultz has put the status of controversial mining legislation in jeopardy. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Schultz said he would support a bill only if it kept environmental protections in place and did not eliminate contested-case hearings, a quasi-judicial process that allows citizens to challenge proposed mines.” Schultz holds the swing vote on this bill in the state senate, which has a 17-16 Republican majority. Gov. Walker has urged lawmakers to pass the bill, but with Schultz in opposition, it appears unlikely that a compromise will be reached before March 15, the end of the current legislative session.
2. Area foreclosures
Foreclosures are once again on the rise in southeastern Wisconsin, with figures showing a 7.2 percent increase for the region in the month of February. This comes not long after Gov. Walker diverted part of the state’s $140 million from the federal foreclosure settlement to help balance the state budget. Foreclosure increases were largest in Washington and Racine counties, which had 47.1 and 38.3 percent increases, respectively.
3. Gregory L. Goner
Gregory L. Goner, who operated the Excel Academy from 2004 – 2010, has been indicted by a grand jury on five counts of theft and fraud. The federal charges allege that Goner illegally used funds from the Excel Academy to purchase two apartment buildings and pay a deacon at Spirit Governed Baptist Church, where Goner is a pastor.