Archives for May 2012
Local Event Showcases Up and Coming Restaurants in Historic 5th Ward
MILWAUKEE, WI – Three local organizations are combining forces to showcase the delicious side of the revitalized community of Historic Walker’s Point and South 2nd Street. MKEfoodies, OnMilwaukee.com, and Milwaukee Food Tours will host the first-ever Walker’s Point Food Crawl on Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. “This will be the perfect opportunity for food lovers to get a taste of the many amazing eateries cropping up in the Walker’s Point area,” said Lori Fredrich, co-founder of MKEfoodies. “It’s also a chance for Milwaukee residents to become more familiar with this beautiful, historic neighborhood.” Attendees will have the opportunity to stroll through the Historic Walker’s Point neighborhood at their own pace tasting delicious small plates from area restaurants and food venues. Families with children are welcome and encouraged to attend. Theresa Nemetz, founder of Milwaukee Food Tours, shared “we are honored to be able to collaborate to show off this culinary hotbed of the city and look forward to showcasing a wide variety of both new and established eateries along the way.” Participating restaurants and venues include Braise, Chez Jacques, Clock Shadow Creamery, Ginger Tapas, INdustri Café, The Noble, Purple Door Ice Cream, Rishi Tea and Zak’s Café. Sponsors include Great Lakes Distillery, Milwaukee Brewing Company, and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. “Milwaukee’s an amazing dining town full of creativity, local flare and unique destinations,” said Jeff Sherman, President of OnMilwaukee.com “We capture the dining scene every day on OnMilwaukee.com, and are honored to be a part of this event. Get your tickets today, and bring your appetite.” Tickets are available online at: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/248745 Silver Tickets include 8 small plates for $50; while Gold Tickets include 14 small plates for $75.
About MKEfoodies Established in 2010, MKEfoodies is a socially conscious food-centric social network aiming to bring the growing “foodie” community together through experiential, affordable events geared around food, drink and education. The group plans monthly happy hour events at area restaurants, food-centric field trips, and an annual holiday
bake sale in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. All MKEfoodies events are open to the public. www.mkefoodies.com.
About OnMilwaukee.com OnMilwaukee.com, a full service digital media company, publishes Milwaukee’s award winning daily news, lifestyle, dining and sports online magazine and city guide, OnMilwaukee.com. It also publishes several niche content sites including WedinMilwaukee.com. Its mission is simple: create amazing media and move Milwaukee forward.
About Milwaukee Food Tours Milwaukee Food Tours provides tours by foot and bus to promote Milwaukee’s rich immigrant history and feature locally made foods and drinks. Ideal for locals and tourist, birthday and anniversary celebrations, corporate team-building, and educational field trips, Milwaukee Food Tours offers 1-mile walking neighborhood tours along Brady Street, in the Historic Third Ward, along the RiverWalk/Old World Third Street, in the Village of Wauwatosa and the Historic City of Cedarburg. Participants learn about Milwaukee’s rich history and architecture as well as enjoy delicious tastings from bakeries, meat shops, pizzerias, eateries, cheese and sausage makers and breweries along the way. Popular bus tours include Milwaukee’s Pizza Tour, Churches & Chocolates, Ghouls & Spirits Adult Trick-or-Treat, and Christmas Around the World Bakery Bus. www.milwaukeefoodtours.com.
(NBC – Los Angeles)
It’s peak season for balloon shops, but with a helium shortage, business is deflating.
Shawn Agheassi, owner of Elegant Balloon in Studio City, says he is losing customers daily, and that business is down 50 percent.
“I’m surviving right now, but struggling,” Agheassi said.
Agheassi is struggling with a dwindling supply of helium globally — a problem that’s affecting medical suppliers, TV manufacturers and party businesses.
“Years ago it was like $30 to $40 a bottle. Now it’s $168. Yes, a tank. And I’m lucky if I get one or two,” Agheassi said.
He says his helium suppliers are even getting out of the business.
“I was talking to the supplier and he was crying. He said, I have a million dollar business and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have helium to sell it,” Agheassi said.
Helium is a natural byproduct of the decay of radioactive elements.
In 1996 Congress mandated that the federal government to sell off the gas from its underground reserve by the end of 2014. That’s caused all sorts of problems.
The problem is, now we are running out, possibly in eight years, and this ballooning crisis is affecting more than birthday parties and other celebrations. Helium is used in hospital MRI scanners and in flat-screen TVs.
(New York Times)
Besieged by identity theft, Florida now faces a fast-spreading form of fraud so simple and lucrative that some violent criminals have traded their guns for laptops. And the target is the United States Treasury.
With nothing more than ledgers of stolen identity information – Social Security numbers and their corresponding names and birth dates – criminals have electronically filed thousands of false tax returns with made-up incomes and withholding information and have received hundreds of millions of dollars in wrongful refunds, law enforcement officials say.
The criminals, some of them former drug dealers, outwit the Internal Revenue Service by filing a return before the legitimate taxpayer files. Then the criminals receive the refund, sometimes by check but more often though a convenient but hard-to-trace prepaid debit card.
The government-approved cards, intended to help people who have no bank accounts, are widely available in many places, including tax preparation companies. Some of them are mailed, and the swindlers often provide addresses for vacant houses, even buying mailboxes for them, and then collect the refunds there.
Postal workers have been harassed, robbed and, in one case, murdered as they have made their rounds with mail trucks full of debit cards and master keys to mailboxes.
The fraud, which has spread around the country, is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually, federal and state officials say. The I.R.S. sometimes, in effect, pays two refunds instead of one: first to the criminal who gets a claim approved, and then a second to the legitimate taxpayer, who might have to wait as long as a year while the agency verifies the second claim.
J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, testified before Congress this month that the I.R.S. detected 940,000 fake returns for 2010 in which identity thieves would have received $6.5 billion in refunds. But Mr. George said the agency missed an additional 1.5 million returns with possibly fraudulent refunds worth more than $5.2 billion.
(CBS – Cleveland)
Before you bring out the grill and cook those hot dogs and burgers today, you may want to run back to the store and buy some bug spray.
Experts say this could be the worst mosquito season in decades.
The mild winter and early spring rain is expected to make this year’s mosquitoes appear in record numbers across the country six weeks early.
Experts say this could be the worst mosquito season in decades!
The lack of freezing temps means bugs and their eggs may not have been killed off, sending them into a breeding frenzy.
In 2011, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) received more than 600 cases of mosquito-borne viruses, 47 of which resulted in death. CDC officials say not to worry unless experiencing fever, severe headache and swollen glands. The symptoms could be a sign of an infection.
If you love being outside, trim back the trees and mow the lawn where you plan on spending most of your outdoor time. Don’t forget to stock up on bug repellant spray, candles and lawn spray too.
It also helps to layer clothing at dawn and dusk when the “skeeters” are at their worst.
Four years ago Veronica Witherspoon was stationed in Baghdad, enduring roiling sandstorms and near-daily rocket fire as she worked as a Navy petty officer at Camp Victory.
By January, she had left the military, lost her job as a civilian contractor, split with her husband and ended up virtually homeless, bunking with family members. Deeply ashamed of her predicament but desperate for a way out, she ran across a story on a military website for a new program for female veterans called Final Salute.
Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs has made strides in its five-year campaign to end veteran homelessness.
Though the overall number of homeless veterans declined 12 percent between 2010 and 2011, the number of homeless female veterans is increasing, the VA said in a draft report this month, and these women are now the fastest-growing segment of the homeless veterans population.
Officially, homeless female veterans number about 3,328, a figure that doubled from 2006 to 2010, according to an estimate from the Government Accountability Office, although the GAO says the data are incomplete and the actual number is likely higher. Many of them are mothers, middle-aged or suffering from some kind of disability.
The VA acknowledged in the report that there was an “acute” need to improve services for the growing number of female veterans, because they are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems, to have suffered sexual trauma during their military service and to have a greater risk of homelessness than their male counterparts.
“We have a demographic shift in the makeup of our fighting forces and it’s starting to appear in homelessness, with more women leaving the military and becoming homeless,” said Daniel Bertoni, the GAO’s director of disability issues. Traditionally, “a lot of the systems of support have been geared toward men. A lot of these shelters don’t support children.”
Place story under “Health and Wellness.” Study: Binge drinking among adults on the rise
Binge drinking is not just for college students anymore.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three-fourths of binge drinking episodes involve adults over the age of 26, and more than 30 million American adults binge drink on an average of four times a month.
While the majority of binge drinkers are not alcoholics, the effects on health and mortality are causes for concern.
“Before, what we looked at in alcohol research was alcohol dependence and alcohol abuse, but now we’re looking at something much more subtle and it’s called risk drinking,” said Dr. Daniel Bober, a psychiatrist and addiction specialist.
For men, at risk or binge drinking means more than four drinks in one sitting, or more than 14 drinks per week.
For women, it means more than three drinks in one sitting, or more than seven drinks per week.
“Everyone is looking for an escape. Everyone is looking for a quick fix. They’re looking for a way to just tune out and not have to deal with life and have a different reality,” said Dr. Bober.
Gloria started binge drinking in her 30s as an escape from a difficult divorce.
“I thought I had a handle on it and I didn’t,” she said.
By the time she married a second time, she said her binge drinking had evolved into alcoholism.
“I probably walked down the aisle totally wasted but I didn’t think anybody knew and of course they did,” Gloria added.
EnviroSAND is stable, durable and environmentally-friendly
Making the decision to redo your driveway, walkway or patio with interlocking paving stones is a big investment. A cobblestone, paver or brick driveway is among the most expensive ways to finish your hardscaping project, and when it is finished you want to make sure you have a product that looks as good five years down the road as it does the day it is installed.
That means a driveway, walkway or patio that is level, with no weeds creeping up in the joints between the paving stones.
“Curb appeal is important to today’s homeowner,” says Mike Riehm, president of EnviroBOND, manufacturers of EnviroSAND. “Investing time, money and effort into a project with paving stones will be a waste if the stones are heaving, weeds are sprouting up in the cracks and ants are crawling all over the place.
“Using the right kind of sand in the joints between the stones can be the difference between a beautiful street view of your home, and a disaster getting worse by the day.”
EnviroSAND is a stabilized joint sand that is specially designed for use with paving stones. It is a combination of traditional jointing sand and an organic glue made from a renewable plant resource. The plant glue is designed to form an adhesive gel that binds sand particles together every time the EnviroSAND is in contact with water. This gel protects the sand from washing out of the joints, which is the number one cause of joint sand loss in a paver system.
In a rainfall simulator, re-enacting a two-hour torrential downpour, EnviroSAND experienced an average 2.7% material loss, while traditional sand washed out in seconds and the leading polymeric sand lost 17.4%.
When sand washes out, weeds creep in!
There is a misconception that weed growth in pavers occurs from below, growing up under the paving stones.
“The truth is”, says Riehm, “weed growth in a paver system is primarily caused by seeds getting trapped in the joints from above and flourishing into a nuisance.”
Above keeping the sand in the joints, EnviroBOND has developed a Natural Weed deterrent to tackle this problem. Initially started by scientifically altering the plant composition to prevent biodegredation, EnviroBOND stumbled on a Natural Weed Deterrent. By simply elevating the pH of the material, EnviroSAND creates a toxic environment for which seedlings can’t germinate. By preventing these seeds from germinating, EnvirobBOND provides a unique and functional Weed Deterrent.
“If, by chance, you live in a harsh climate and there is shifting among your paving stone of choice, using EnviroSAND makes your repairs easier,” says Riehm. “Because of the self-repairing nature of EnviroSAND, it can easily be reworked, making the lifting and re-laying segments an easier task.”
EnviroBOND is a company that developed in the 1990s through the combination of landscape design and environmental awareness. Developed in Canada and currently distributingthrough Canada, USA and Europe, EnviroBOND’s products have evolved with “Green Science” being the foundation and backbone of their portfolio. By using Natural materials to solve problems in Nature, Envirobond has been able to truly live the phrase “We were green, before green was cool.”
Second Daytime Café restaurant opens in Milwaukee market
Milwaukee – Award-winning Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch restaurant First Watch continues its expansion this week with the opening of a second restaurant in Wisconsin . The new 4,030 sq. ft. restaurant, located at 11032 North Port Washington Road in the Mequon Pavilions, is owned and operated by franchisee VMB Sunrise Hospitality, Inc., consisting of father and son Michael and Vincent Busalacchi.
VMB Sunrise Hospitality, Inc. also operates the First Watch restaurant at 17550 West Bluemound Road in the Brownstones Shopping Center which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. VMB plans to open a total of five First Watch restaurants in the Milwaukee market over the next three to five years.
“Mequon is a thriving community and an ideal spot for the second First Watch restaurant in the Milwaukee market, said franchisee Vincent Busalacchi of VMB Sunrise Hospitality, Inc. “We are expecting the same warm welcome and enthusiastic support in Mequon as we received in Brookfield when we opened there a little over a year ago.”
The new restaurant features a new interior design concept known as “Connect.” It “connects” traditional First Watch design elements with contemporary executions by maximizing natural light provided during the restaurant’s daytime hours, and incorporating color tones intended to convey the warm and inviting personality of the First Watch brand. The design also accentuates an open-kitchen concept, which reinforces First Watch’s honest approach to fresh food preparation.
First Watch is known for delivering an excellent dining experience and fast, friendly service. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Of” accolades in markets across the country, the restaurant features traditional favorites including pancakes, omelets, salads and sandwiches, as well as signature specialties such as the Chickichanga®, Healthy Turkey Omelet™ and Fresh Fruit Crepes.
In addition to serving unique and fresh entrées, First Watch offers its exclusive ®First Watch serves its entire menu seven days a week from 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The restaurant also offers guests complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi Internet access.
The new restaurant is expected to employ about 25 local employees.
About First WatchFirst Watch has specialized in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch for nearly 30 years. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, to unique specialty items like the fan-favorite Chickichanga® and Fresh Fruit Crepes. It is currently the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with nearly 100 restaurants in 14 states and additional units under development as part of the Bradenton, FL-based company’s aggressive growth strategy. For more information, visit www.firstwatch.com.
First Lt. Gov. Recall Election in U.S. history gives Wisconsin chance to elect first black Lt. Gov.
Madison—As the June 5 election against Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch draws near, Wisconsin has a chance to make history. Mahlon Mitchell, Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov., is challenging incumbent Rebecca Kleefisch in the first ever Lt. Gov. recall election in the history of the United States. Furthermore, this election gives Wisconsin its first opportunity to elect Wisconsin’s very first black Lt. Gov. in Wisconsin.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher,” said Mitchell, a fire fighter for 15 years and father of two. “We need to bring our state back together and we can only do that if we defeat Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch on June 5. I’m running for Lt. Gov. so we can bring opportunity and promise back to Milwaukee and our entire state.”
Mitchell spent Memorial Day weekend going door-to-door in Milwaukee’s Parklawn, Lincoln Creek, and Wahl Park neighborhoods. Voters said that Mahlon Mitchell was the first candidate for statewide office to ever come knocking on their door for support. With the election only days away, Mitchell spent his time encouraging voters to vote early or vote on June 5, Election Day.
“This is something bigger than just you and me,” Mitchell told voters at a crowded neighborhood gathering. “This is about Justice and this is about history. I guarantee you we are on the right side of justice and we will make history on June 5 when Tom Barrett and I are elected in order to bring our state back together.”