The Slow Demise of Sydney Hih
Sydney Hih could be saved, a witch hunt on North Ave, UWM has a baseball team (?), and Alderman Jose Perez wins a game for the Brewers.
The Sydney Hih has a pending demolition permit, and is likely to be demolished in the very near future. At this point the only thing likely to at least delay its demise is if the buildings are awarded a temporary historic designation from the Historic Preservation Commission (which would need to be confirmed by the Common Council and Mayor) on June 7th. The commission will hold a hearing on a petition to award an Interim Historic Designation at 9 a.m.
In other news on the building, the iconic lettering was removed from the facade today. Local arts group ART Milwaukee is in possession of the letters and looking for ways to display them. We will have a full photo gallery of the letters’ removal tomorrow, as well as an update on what happened at the Historic Preservation Commission meeting.
We will be live tweeting the meeting at @UMKELive.
Pub Crawl Witch Hunt Continues
Instead of attacking the tavern owners for selling to willing customers perhaps a way should be sought to offer transportation to and from these events (if safety is indeed the issue it’s portrayed to be). I’m guessing the bars would willingly chip in for a school bus to take event attendees to and from other key intersections in the city, as well as pay for better cleanup and security crews, in exchange for the right to make money hand over fist without being hassled by their neighbors and the Licenses Committee.
Alderman Jose Perez Throws First Pitch
Alderman Jose Perez threw out the first pitch at Miller Park on Saturday night as part of the annual Cerveceros Day. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t televised, so there isn’t footage readily available to critique the rookie alderman’s throwing mechanics. Rumors are flying that Perez also won the sausage race that night, racing as the Chorizo. And the Brewers won the game. I only took one statistics class in college, so I might be ignoring something about sample size, but it seems like the injury plagued Brew Crew should have Jose Perez at the stadium more often.
UWM Has a Baseball Team?
Did you know UW – Milwaukee has a baseball team? If not, you likely wouldn’t be shocked to learn their stadium is merely a field in a Milwaukee County Park. But you’d likely be shocked to learn they had three players drafted in the 2012 MLB Draft.
- Jordan Guth – Junior – Pitcher – Philadelphia Phillies (9th Round, 308th Overall)
- Eric Semmelhack – Junior – Pitcher – Milwaukee Brewers (12th Round, 395th Overall)
- Paul Hoenecke – Senior – First Baseman – Los Angeles Dodgers (24th Round, 746th Overall)
Guth, Semmelhack, and Hoenecke represent the 17th, 18th, and 19th players drafted in the program’s history. It’s the first time the program has ever had more than one player drafted in a year, the first time since 2001-2002 that players were drafted in back-to-back years, and the highest overall selection (Craig Scheffler was drafted in the 12th round in 1993) in UWM team history.
Turns out we should all pay a bit more attention to who is wearing black at Lincoln Park’s Henry Aaron Field.
Strip Club Fails at Committee, We Try Live Coverage with Twitter
Silk East, a gentleman’s club proposal for 730 N. Old World Third St, was voted down at the Licenses Committee last Friday. The traditional media outlets were all over covering the rejection, so there isn’t a need to revisit that here. We did, however, live tweet the meeting as it happened for those that didn’t want to watch or attend the hearing that lasted over four hours. You can read the transcript, and follow our new Twitter account (@UMKELive), if you want to see how things went down. Tweets marked with “-JJ” are from me, “-dr” is Dave Reid. If you have other ideas on how to expand our live coverage of events, let us know.
Take Two for Residences on Water, Staybridge Suites
The city’s most visible sign of the recession — the long, uncompleted Residences on Water – Staybridge Suites hotel and condominium development — finally has a new owner who is likely to finish its construction. After the auction set for May 8th was postponed, the building was finally auctioned on May 31st. The buyer is the firm that holds the majority of the remaining mortgage on the foreclosed property, 2010-1 SFG Venture, LLC. The auction lasted 11 hours and took 29 rounds of bidding, but that’s extremely quick for a structure that saw construction stop in the winter of 2008-09. The building, which we’ve dubbed the world’s largest Qdoba, is located at the corner of Juneau Ave and Water St.
First Graduate from the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences
Mike Pagel has earned a Master of Science degree in Freshwater Sciences and Technology, which is noteworthy as he is the first graduate of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences (SFS). He entered the program in 2010 and is the first graduate of the school. While it’s unfortunate that he intends to move to Washington D.C. to work in environmental compliance in the energy industry, Pagel is hopefully only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to locally produced experts in freshwater. Graduates of the UWM SFS are a key part of the effort to create a sizable cluster of water-related industries in Milwaukee. Another key is the Milwaukee Water Council’s development of a Water Accelerator in a seven-story building located at 223 W. Pittsburgh Ave in the Walker’s Point neighborhood.
Another Day, Another Donovan Anti-Streetcar Declaration
Alderman Bob Donovan issued yet another press release on the Milwaukee Streetcar (release, referenced report). I won’t dwell on his misguided efforts to kill the project, but just note my prediction that Donovan would issue press release after press release on the issue, and he’s done just that. I also predicted he would be less interested in the issue once the recall election is over; we’ll see how that forecast plays out.
Bicycle Event Coordination Needed – Please
Tour de Farce, an annual bicycle pub pedal (and the least attended of the three events) kicked off the weekend on Saturday night in Bay View. The following day featured two marquee events on opposite sides of the state. In Milwaukee, cyclists had the chance to raise money for the arts while biking over the Hoan Bridge as part of the UPAF Ride for the Arts (~7,000 riders in 2011). In Madison, cyclists had the chance to take part in Ride the Drive Downtown (over 20,000 attendees), an event that opened a nearly five mile loop of roads only to cyclists and pedestrians from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Astute readers will point out that there is a second Ride the Drive event later in the summer, but that doesn’t stop the cannibilization of riders from the events that overlap in June.
I don’t know who should blink first, but how about a switch of dates for one of these marque events. Some of us would like to go to both events.
Congress for the New Urbanism 20 Webcasts Online
Want to know what leaders of the new urbanism movement are thinking without having to go to the annual conference? Now you can, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) has made a number of the sessions from their latest conference available for free. The latest Congress was held from May 9th to 12th in West Palm Becah, Florida. Stream away.
A Parks District for Milwaukee?
Should the park system remain under the control of Milwaukee County government? Dan Cody, President of The Park People of Milwaukee County and recent candidate for Milwaukee County Supervisor, argues that we should return to a Parks Commission model of governance. He recently posted the full, un-edited version of a letter to the editor he submitted to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on his blog. Cody argues that Milwaukee County has one of the few major park systems in the county that isn’t operated by an independent commission, and that we suffer because of that. I tend to agree.
Real Election Winner – Sonya Jongsma-Knauss
We held a contest on our Facebook page regarding voter turnout in the City of Milwaukee. The final number according to the City of Milwaukee Election Commission is 73.14%. Out of 32 total guesses, Sonya Jongsma-Knauss came closest to the mark with a guess of 72%. Everyone who guessed was fairly close, with an average guess of 65.975%. In addition to the priceless shout-out in this column, Sonya will also receive a set of three Urban Milwaukee: The Store Milwaukee postcards.
Like us on Facebook to participate in future contests.