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What’s It Worth?: Koeffler House A ‘Grand Old East Side Home’
What’s It Worth?

Koeffler House A ‘Grand Old East Side Home’

The historic Koeffler House, saved by historic designation in the 80's, will become a boutique hotel.

Bar Exam: Taylors, Downtown’s Neighborhood Bar
Bar Exam

Taylors, Downtown’s Neighborhood Bar

It was one of the first bars in town to embrace its sidewalk, and feature outdoor drinking.

Plenty of Horne: Shocking Conditions at the Courthouse
Plenty of Horne

Shocking Conditions at the Courthouse

Court Commissioner Barry Slagle electrocuted in scary, unreported incident at courthouse.

The Roundup: The Inaugural
The Roundup

The Inaugural

Marvin Pratt did not stand up with the crowd when Tom Barrett was inaugurated mayor, and the press has made a good deal of the slight. However, just after Judge Louis Butler administered the oath of office to the new mayor, Barrett’s first comments were to commend Pratt, and the former acting mayor did stand up and take a bow. The ceremonies were held April 20th outside of City Hall in some perfectly dreadful Milwaukee spring weather. So, who was the idiot who came up with that idea? “I’m the idiot who thought to hold it outside,” fessed up Kris Martinsek. After all, the president is inaugurated outdoors in January. However, January in Washington is not nearly as unpleasant as Milwaukee in April. The stage was set up on Wells Street, facing east. Upon the stage sat Milwaukee’s new leaders, including the mayor, the common council, the comptroller, treasurer, city attorney, city clerk and a municipal judge. Their families sat out in the street and in the adjacent park next to the Frank P. Zeidler Municipal Building. Frank P. Zeidler was there himself, sandwiched between Marvin Pratt and Senator Herb Kohl. Kohl was dressed as he always is around here. He wore a shirt, a tie, a Milwaukee Bucks cap and a windbreaker. Except for the tie, he pretty much looked like the guy who harvests aluminum cans from my recycling bin. If he tried to walk on to the floor of the United States Senate in that getup, the sergeant-at-arms would toss him out. But this is Milwaukee, the “come as you are” capital of America, and he fit right in. Barrett has made a list of 18 things he wants to accomplish in his first hundred days in office. I don’t know if reducing the police overtime budget is one of them, but the men in blue were certainly racking up the hours during the interminable ceremony. The aldermen were sworn in sequentially according to district. Each alderman then gave a little speech. The last district, the 15th, is occupied by Willie Hines, who is now the Common Council president. He then gave a big speech. He began by saying, “my ascent to the Council Presidency is not a compromise or consolation prize for the African-American community.” This was an effective way to defuse speculation that his election was a compromise or consolation prize, and was a rather sharp thing to do. Hines also insisted that corruption will not taint his council. (We’ll check back on that in four years.) His delivery was generally quite good, and had a hint of religious fervor to it. Moments earlier, he did have a slip up. When Valarie Hill was about to be sworn in as municipal judge, Hines said, “The City Clerk will now come to the altar – er, the podium – to take the oath.” Also, when Hines introduced the new mayor he called him “Mayor Marvin Pratt – er, Mayor Barrett.” These things happen. The Common Council […]