Northwest Funeral Chapel owners start new Holiday tradition Victoria (far left) and J.C. (far right) Frazier, owners of Northwest Funeral Chapel and the new Northwest Family Activity and Events Center joined Santa Claus in kicking off the inaugural “Mrs. O’Bee’s Toy House.” The Toy House was created to honor one of Milwaukee’s iconic legends, Mrs. Ernestine O’Bee, the late founder and president of Northwest Funeral Chapel. Children met Santa and told him what they wanted for Christmas and were able to select a toy. The event was held at the Northwest Family Acitivity Center, which is located at 4034 W. Good Hope Road.
MILWAUKEE – The YWCA Southeast Wisconsin announced today that it will offer a new Ways to Work program in Milwaukee and mark its beginning with an open house, December 12, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Ways to Work is a national community lending organization (headquartered in Milwaukee) that offers low-to-moderate-income families access to low-cost loans to purchase or repair a pre-owned vehicle needed to meet job demands while raising children. The program was made possible in part by financial support from the Walmart Foundation.
“With as many as one in six Americans living in poverty, and the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed growing every day, families are fighting to hold onto their jobs and maintain a decent quality of life,” said Jennifer de Montmollin, chief program officer, economic empowerment, at the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin. “Ways to Work provides access to affordable loans for reliable transportation that can help individuals keep both their work-life and job-life stable.”
The program is available to families in need of a reliable vehicle whose credit rating does not allow for a traditional loan or rather, one provided at a very high interest rate. It is an alternative to predatory lenders who target local families struggling to get ahead.
Ways to Work, Inc. currently operates over 44 sites in 22 states. To date, the program has helped nearly 34,500 families access more than $71 million in affordable loans. The program also provides focused financial education, credit repair guidance and individual coaching that helps families become financially capable and self-sufficient. The majority of Ways to Work loan recipients are single mothers who make multiple stops throughout the day in order to transport children to and from childcare, commute to and from work, and secure basic necessities for their families.
More than 94 percent of program participants report their Ways to Work car helps them maintain or improve their employment situation. Nearly half report an increase in earnings by 10% and many have experienced a mean credit score increase during the recent recession of up to 44.6 points. Most all borrowers acknowledge their Ways to Work car as a catalyst to quality family time and access to better childcare providers.
Additional funding support to help launch the Milwaukee program was provided by the Caterpillar Foundation, Guaranty Bank, Helen Bader Foundation, State Farm Insurance Foundation, and United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
For more information on the YWCA, Ways to Work, or the upcoming open house, visit www.ywcasew.org.
Ralph Hollmon (far right), president and CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League, addresses participants in the VISION 2050 workshop. Entrepreneurs and community stakeholders had an opportunitiy to help shape the vision of Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin and how both would should look by the year 2050. The Milwaukee Urban League, and the MUL Guild of Young Professionals sponsored the event, which included the participation of SEWRPC.
State senators and representatives will hear from workers and an economist about the high number of fast-food workers forced to rely on public assistance at a town hall at 5:30 pm, Nov. 21, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, 1531 W. Vliet St. The town hall comes on the heels of a recent report from the University of California, Berkeley that showed that low wages paid by the $200-billion fast food industry put the annual taxpayer tab for public assistance programs at nearly $7 billion nationally and $166 million in Wisconsin.
“These huge and hugely profitable corporations can afford to pay their workers more,” said Rep. Christine Sinicki, who will attend the event. “Public dollars are much better spent on roads and schools than on shoring up corporate profits.”
At the town hall, officials will review what the Berkeley researchers called “staggering” findings about the extent to which Wisconsinites and all Americans are forced to cover fast-food workers’ food, healthcare and other basic needs because the jobs in the industry just don’t pay enough.
The researchers reported that over half of families of frontline fast-food workers are enrolled in public programs, a rate more than twice that of the overall workforce. The median wage for core frontline workers is $8.69 an hour. Only 13 percent of these jobs provide health benefits.
State Rep. Mandela Barnes and Jennifer Epps-Addison, executive director of Wisconsin Jobs Now, will host the event.
Café India, an Indian and Indian-American fusion restaurant that has established a presence in Walker’s Point, will be opening a second
location in Bay View this spring, according to Alderman Tony Zielinski. Work is underway right now to remodel the new location at 2201 S.
Kinnickinnic Ave. Owner Rakesh “Ryan” Rehen said that when renovations are complete, the restaurant will feature a brand new kitchen, a remodeled
casual dining space with a capacity of 80 to 90 people, a full bar and an outdoor hookah bar patio and dining space. He anticipates opening the
restaurant in March.
“I’m very excited to be able to expand my restaurant’s brand into such an exciting, thriving neighborhood,” Rehen said. “Alderman Zielinski reached
out to me when he heard about my situation, told me that there’s no better place for a small-scale, up-and-coming business to call home and even
helped me find a building to move into.”
Rehen said that the new Café India location will feature the same menu as his existing restaurant. His fare is focused on traditional Indian food,
but Rehen’s menu also offers some Indian-American fusion to cater to patrons who are unfamiliar with the cuisine. About 60 percent of Rehen’s
offerings are vegetarian or vegan dishes, with the remainder featuring chicken, lamb, fish or shrimp.
“I’m pleased to welcome Mr. Rehen and Café India to the Bay View neighborhood,” Alderman Zielinski said. “His business is an excellent
addition to the unique and vibrant fabric that makes Bay View the hottest neighborhood in Milwaukee.”
The Milwaukee Public Schools and 2760 Holdings, LLC will develop a robust public/private partnership that will bring new opportunities for educational excellence and residential housing options to the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee. Under this partnership, the former Malcolm X building will be built out in two phases. The first phase will create affordable housing for area residents and a school. The school will be an International Baccalaureate middle school for 600 students, providing a high-quality middle school option for the area. IB, a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, is offered at five MPS schools and is one of the most popular programs in MPS. The site will also serve as a community asset with access to the gymnasium and auditorium for community members and groups. A collaborative community planning session conducted last summer by the UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Economic Development Corp., reaffirmed an earlier call by the MPS Board of School Directors for the site to have community usage. With a purchase price and renovations totaling $4.2 million, 2760 Holdings, LLC plans to complete the educational component of Phase One by Fall 2014. MPS will lease the educational portion of the building from the developer for $4.2 million with the option to buy the educational portion of the building for $1. This allows MPS to have educational space that will be ready to be occupied by a high-quality educational program and the community will have access to recreational space and needed, affordable housing. “This partnership gives the community a chance to reap the benefits of the experience of the major partners in 2760 Holdings, LLC, James Phelps of JCP Construction and Dennis Klein of KBS Construction,” said MPS Superintendent Gregory E. Thornton. “Together these two organizations have been major players in the construction of key Milwaukee projects including Kenilworth Square Apartments, Cambridge Commons and Riverview Terrace at UW Milwaukee, the Journey House addition to Longfellow Elementary, Marquette University’s Law School and School of Engineering and renovations of Mitchell Hall at UW Milwaukee, the MPS Juneau Complex and the Medical College.”
News from Milwaukee Public Schools
MILWAUKEE (October 9, 2013) A new proposal discussed in Madison Wednesday could evict more than 3,500 Milwaukee Public Schools students
from their current schools, some of which are among the most successful schools in the city.
Senate Bill 318 would force MPS and the city of Milwaukee to sell buildings, including ones the district is currently using to expand successful programs. MPS would be forced to sell one of the buildings of its successful Golda Meir School, rated â€œExceeds Expectationsâ€ on the recent state report cards. The school expanded in 2012-13 into a once-unused former middle school property and is expanding to serve high school students for 2014-15.
Other affected schools include one of Milwaukee’s oldest high schools, North Division, which currently houses both a small charter high school and MPS new teacher educator center; the growing School of Career and Technical Education inside the former Custer site; Community High School, which is located in the Burroughs complex; and the brand-new Universal Academy for the College Bound, which just opened this year and is growing
one grade per year. Another example is the new Carmen High School of Science and Technology Northwest Campus, modeled after Carmen’s
successful South Campus, which was ranked among the top 10 high schools in the state this year by U.S. News and World Report.
The discussion of Senate Bill 318 comes days after MPS submitted a fall enrollment count of 78,502 students, up from 78,461 last year. This is the
first enrollment increase for the district in a decade. The proposal would also force the district to sell buildings it has plans for, including the former Dover, 88th Street, Hayes and Malcolm X school sites. Discussions on converting the Dover site into housing for teachers or young professionals have been ongoing since March 2013 and the district is in negotiations for the sale of Malcolm X.
MPS has shared with lawmakers that it does currently have facilities that could be sold or transferred to the city for sale.
This news is available online at
The last government shut down lasted 21 days from December 15, 1995 to January 6, 1996. This was the longest government shutdown to date.
Fast forward to today. Another government shutdown, but this time is different. The economy is just rebounding from the financial crisis and the Great Recession which decimated the economy.
A shutdown has a ripple effect throughout the economy as many federal services come to a grinding halt. One such service is the U.S. Small Business Administration, also known as the SBA. The SBA provides loans and many black businesses access these loans and other services. Just earlier this year the SBA business loans budget was cut by 5 percent, or by $24 million, from the sequester.
Many small businesses are also government contractors; therefore, they will feel the impact from delayed loans and work stoppage.
Representative Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) who serves on the Small Business Committee in Congress said small businesses are very concerned about a shutdown. “The shutdown could reverse work being done to improve access to capital.”
He warned a shutdown will prevent some small businesses, which are already struggling, from getting their businesses off the ground. “Black businesses are impacted at a higher number than the general population,” he explained.
Staci Redmon, president and CEO of Strategy and Management Services based in Springfield, Virginia, said her firm has six new federal contracts scheduled to start on October 1st. The 95-employee firm generates 100 percent of its revenue from federal contracts. Her firm receives SBA loans and participates in other programs under the SBA.
Today, 90 percent of her employees are reporting to work awaiting further guidance while 10 percent are in a possible temporary layoff position.
Redmon was hopeful a shutdown would not last long. “Within 10 days [we] will have to make some serious decisions” regarding staffing levels. “I cannot afford the overhead,” she warned.
A shutdown puts pressure on revenue and lending opportunities from banks.
Redmon said due diligence by banks, especially for small businesses, have become more thorough. “They say let me see the contract, details of the contract, scenario analysis. It has really put a damper on funding,” she explained.
Marjorie Perry, president and CEO of MZM Construction & Management based in Newark, New Jersey, has also witnessed changes in the lending environment. She said her line of credit with her bank is tied to her federal contracts. She said banks need to assess how her federal contracts are performing before extending any loans.
This comes as small businesses feel the impact of the automatic spending cuts, also known as the sequester, which took effect early this year.
“We’re still dealing with work being held up with the sequester,” explained Perry. She said her firm paid off its SBA loan in 2012, however, still participates in SBA programs such as 8(A) business development.
Her firm cut its workforce from 15 to nine employees this year. She faces the challenge of trimming staffing levels while retaining critical talent.
“We’ve cut and cut people and their hours.” Her firm had three administrators, but now has one part-time. “We have to keep senior project managers, must keep the tacit knowledge,” she explained.
A shutdown may cost her firm millions of dollars. Perry said her firm was on track to generate $8 million to $9 million in revenue from federal contracts by year-end. She estimated about 80 percent of this revenue is at risk.
She cautioned a shutdown will be painful and have residual issues for everyone.
“This may force small, small business out of business.”
There are great and exciting things happening in the Milwaukee Public Schools! A few of the happenings are below.
The MPS College Access Centers are helping more students to go to college.
Foley and Lardner, Milwaukee’s largest law firm has formed a partnership with MPS and the WCLL.
For more information about these events, student success stories and a message from Superintendent Thornton, go to the link found here: http://www5.milwaukee.k12.wi.us/dept/enews/2013/07/enews-september-2013-community/
When my aunt was diagnosed with dementia, her immediate family members quickly became concerned not only for health but also her financial well-being. However, because of her emotional state and weakened physical condition she did not seek the appropriate care that was required to manage her financial affairs both for the present and future. A proper estate planning would have mitigated my aunt’s stress as well as her concerned family members. A proper estate plan may include a power of attorney for health care or property, a will, or a trust.
Many people think of an estate plan as something for when you’re elderly or near death. But no matter your net worth, you should have a basic estate plan in place and start your plan now. The estate plan ensures that your family and financial goals are met after you die. When you are in good health it is much easier to make better decisions about your future. Unlike my aunt, she was not able to adequately plan for her family’s financial future because of her condition.
For example, if you ever become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself regarding your finances or health care, you need to know who would make decisions for you? A family member? A friend? Possibly, if the court proceedings determine they are the proper choices for you. However, it is not recommended to take that chance. Instead, it is better to take the opportunity now to determine who should be making decisions on your behalf through a power of attorney. A power of attorney enables you to appoint who will manage your finances and health care decisions in the event that you become unable to do so yourself. This tool also will help you and your family avoid the time and expense of a court proceeding to determine who will make decisions for you if you are incapacitated. A power of attorney offers flexibility, because you still have the authority to make your own decisions. Your power of attorney simply allows the agent to make decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself. Typically, people will choose a spouse, family member, or close friend as agent.
Another common estate planning tool is a will. A will tells the world where you want your assets distributed when you die and may name guardians for your children. If you die without a will, you will have no say over who gets your assets and Wisconsin intestate principles will determine the outcome. It is not recommended to dodge such a decision that will have important financial consequences for your family. The benefit of a will is that you can always make changes based on your circumstances. Remember you are not only protecting your interests but also your family’s financial future.
Anthony Jackson is an attorney and owner of the Jackson Law Office, 230 West Wells, Suite 600, Milwaukee WI 53203. His practice is concentrated in estate planning, personal injury law, and family law. He can be reached at (414) 704-5680.