TCD’s week in review (7/13/12)
Results from latest Marquette University Law Poll, Bradford Beach, Kathy Nickolaus, local film screenings and more in this week's look at the week that was.
The latest Marquette University Law Poll, which proved to be extremely accurate in its prediction of the gubernatorial recall election in June, was released on Wednesday. In the race for Herb Kohl’s seat in the U.S. Senate, former governor Tommy Thompson leads both the GOP Primary contest and the race against Democratic candidate Tammy Baldwin. Thompson leads the GOP Primary poll at 35 percent, followed by political newcomer Eric Hovde at 23 percent, perennial candidate Mark Neumann at 10 percent, and State Assembly leader Jeff Fitzgerald at six percent. 25 percent of voters remain undecided. The former governor is also the only GOP candidate with a lead over congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, polling four points ahead (45 to 41 percent), but within the margin of error.
County Executive Chris Abele outlined plans for a new 44-story tower on Milwaukee’s lakefront on Wednesday. The tower, dubbed “The Couture,” would replace the Downtown Transit Center across from Discovery World and would house apartments, retail, parking, hotel rooms and a ballroom and conference center. Across town, groundbreaking began for the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Hotel that was announced in January.
Milwaukee’s Bradford Beach made the Travel Channel’s list of Best Midwest Beaches. Bradford wasn’t the only Wisconsin beach represented, as Kohler-Andrae State Park, Point Beach State Forest, and Racine’s North Beach also made the list.
Film in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Film announced this week a new structure for the Milwaukee Film Festival, which will run for 15 days from September 27 – October 11, four more days than festivals past. The festival is also adding a new location with the Fox-Bay Cinema Grill on East Silver Spring Drive, but will no longer be screening at Marcus Cinemas. This coming week also marks a big week for film in Milwaukee, as documentary Shut Up And Play The Hits, which follows LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy through the final 48 hours before the band’s farewell performance at Madison Square Garden, will screen at the Landmark Downer Theatre for one night only on Wednesday, July 18. On Thursday, July 19, the Oriental Theatre will host a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
News from the state of Wisconsin made the New York Times homepage this week, with a story titled, “On the Beach, in the Buff. In Wisconsin?” The story details the troubles facing unofficial nude beach, Mazo Beach, on the lower Wisconsin River. Evidently, “Sunbathers here have become particularly worried about their reputation recently, after a wave of X-rated arrest reports led the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to announce that it was closing public access to 68 acres of forest surrounding the beach in an effort to crack down on sex in the woods.”
Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus makes her way into the Losers section so often, we may have to induct her into some sort of Winners & Losers Hall of Infamy. The latest news on Nickolaus is that investigating and fixing her election night errors will cost the Waukesha County Board $256,300.
Rock the Green and SoundTown music festivals
Near-zero waste music festival Rock The Green announced its lineup this week. Third Eye Blind, Metric, Switchfoot, Imagine Dragons, Morning Parade, and Atlas Genius will perform at the festival. Despite a well-intentioned mission to “educate and empower the community to take actionable steps to live sustainably,” it’s hard to believe this is the best lineup they could assemble. In other Wisconsin music festival news, the SoundTown Music & Camping Festival in Somerset, Wisconsin, which was set to feature acts such as Weezer, Florence And The Machine, Common, Dr. Dog, Heartless Bastards, and Milwaukee’s Trapper Schoepp And The Shades, was cancelled since “the ticket threshold wasn’t met.”
Due to abnormally dry conditions, Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in 42 counties on Monday. According to WUWM, “The declaration enables farmers to quickly obtain permits to use water from streams and lakes to irrigate crops on a temporary basis.” Walker is encouraging farmers to report conditions to the U.S. Farm Service Agency. Hey, I thought government was supposed to stay out of the way of…ah, forget it. Come on sky! Just rain already!
Urban Milwaukee Editor Bruce Murphy recently responded to a Dec. 16 story in The Atlantic titled “Free-Falling in Milwaukee: A Close-Up on One City’s Middle-Class Decline.” As usual, Murphy’s analysis is spot-on, as he affirms that the article misses some key elements in its analysis of the city in comparison to other major cities. Milwaukee may not be in as bad of shape as The Atlantic suggests, but statistics like Milwaukee having a higher infant mortality rate than the Gaza Strip still point to major problems plaguing the city. Murphy’s “it could be worse” argument speaks to a problematic mentality that has permeated 21st Century America. The larger problem is that we have really low standards in this country, and it’s hard to comprehend how we got here.
Follow Dan Shafer on Twitter at @danshaferMKE.