Week-ends (03/23/19)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of  This Just In…


Tanitoluwa Adewumi

Logan Brinson

Ernie Andrus


These teachers

The media

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin


“Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.”
The Associated Press

“Today, Democrats are in mourning. They banked on the Mueller investigation providing all the ammunition they would need to initiate immediate impeachment proceedings in the House and emboldening enough Senate Republicans to remove the 45th president of the United States for the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ of criminally conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“Yet, within an hour of the Mueller report being delivered  to the Department of Justice (DOJ), at least one DOJ source was quoted as saying that the special counsel was not recommending any further indictments of individuals. Another report indicated that there were no unsealed indictments in hand.”
Bradley Blakeman is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University

“So if, if as Jeffrey [Toobin] is saying, they [Trump administration] get great news, the great news is, first of all, there’s no more indictments. But if suddenly the president has to say those angry Democrats who were working with Bob Mueller were actually just part of a Justice Department doing its job after he has criticized the Justice Department, then he’s now vindicated.”
CNN political analyst Gloria Borger

“Let’s be specific. This is really good news for a lot of people around Donald Trump. Donald Trump Jr. Jared Kushner. Jerome Corsi. The writer who had a draft indictment presented to him by Mueller’s office and they decided not to go forward with this. Let’s be fair here. There has been a lot of suspicion around certain people. And a lot of negative things have been said and imputation of criminal activity. Mueller has said, ‘I am not proceeding.’ There is no better news to receive than you are not being indicted by the United States government.”
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin agreed with Borger

“The president himself has called, without qualification, for the report to be made public. There is no reason on God’s green earth why Attorney General (William) Barr should do any less.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York

“The American people will see every word, every comma, every period of this report. The president is outnumbered now in a way that he was not before.  We have the subpoena power … so it’s just a matter of time.

“This is a test for our country because the rule of law has had a wrecking ball taken to it, and what we do now with this report will very much determine whether the rule of law still stands.”
Rep. Eric Swallwell, D-Calif., a member of both the House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary Committee

“Russiagate weirdos next move is to claim ‘Russiagate is real but Mueller just couldn’t prove it!’ As crazy as that sounds watch them do it.

“To be clear:

The Robert Mueller investigation is over

There will be no more indictments

And there was no Trump-Russia collusion

Let that sink in”
Conservative pundit Jack Prosobiec

“Special Counsel Mueller appears to have concluded, after almost two years and millions of dollars spent, that there never was any illegal collusion. In other earth-shattering news, water is wet, and the sun rises in the east.”
Jenny Beth Martin is the co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, and a columnist for The Washington Times

“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell! I don’t know him. He’s a whack job, there’s no question about it.”
President Donald Trump  feuded with lawyer George Conway,  the spouse of Trump’s chief counselor Kellyanne Conway. Trump denied George Conway a top Justice Department job.

“You seem determined to prove my point. Good for you! #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder. You. Are. Nuts.”
Mr. Conway tweeting at Trump

“You think he should just take that sitting down?”
Kellyanne Conway defended Trump for clobbering her own husband when she asked a reporter this question

“I studied for MONTHS for the SAT. Twice, sometimes three times a week. Tons of practice tests. Ended up taking the SAT multiple times as well. College apps were no joke… the amount of stress kids put into that to potentially lose a spot to someone unfairly is horrible.”
A tweet by John Owen Lowe, son of actor Rob Lowe

“I will appoint a new News and Information Ombudsman with the power to fine egregious corporate offenders. One of the main purposes of the Ombudsman will be to identify sources of spurious information that are associated with foreign nationals. The Ombudsman will work with social media companies to identify fraudulent accounts and disable and punish responsible parties.”
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says the federal government will punish media companies for the spread of misinformation if he wins in 2020

“You drive through Anonito and you used to not even have a gas station, and now it has four marijuana shops. I know in my district that’s not what they want downtown to look like, so this would help.”
New Mexico Republican Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a dairy farmer from Roswell, in a conservative political stronghold of the state, describing a Colorado town of 750 residents near the New Mexico state line.  He said said state-run stores can prevent the proliferation of pot shops that some other states have witnessed, and provide retail shelf space at a low cost to fledgling marijuana producers. New Mexico would become the first U.S. state to set up its own government-operated marijuana stores and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats, as a new wave of states weighs legislation that would legalize recreational sales and consumption.

“His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has. You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [grown-up Wade Robson and Safechuck], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Barbra Streisand is under fire for comments she made about two men accusing Michael Jackson of sexually assaulting them as children

“Don’t pick a team that hasn’t been better than .500 in its last 10 games. Ahem, Marquette. A winning bracket takes a little research. The best way to avoid mishaps is to assess a team’s play in late February and early March because as much as the tournament is about matchups, a team that’s playing poorly shouldn’t be ignored. The Golden Eagles, for instance, are the best-seeded team from the Big East. But they’ve also lost five of six and do not look like they’re about to peak.”
Scott Gleeson of USA TODAY in a column offering tips on filling out an NCAA basketball tournament bracket.  He wrote the column BEFORE the tournament started. Marquette lost its opener in the tourney to Murray State, 83-64.

“Certainly we didn’t play as well at the end of the season as we did for most of it. We’ve got to really examine that and figure out why. When you hit a tough patch, usually it’s not one thing. It’s a combination of things. So we’ll have to study that and figure out what happened.”
Marquette Golden Eagles head coach Steve Wojciechowski

“Are you not entertained?”
As the final seconds ticked down and Murray State became the first mid-major team to pull an upset in this year’s NCAA tournament with an 83–64 win over Marquette, Tee Morant stood proudly in his front row seat at the XL Center and yelled to everyone within earshot about his son. Ja Morant of Murray State recorded a triple double (17 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds) in the victory. It was Morant’s third triple double this season and only the ninth in NCAA tournament history—the first since Draymond Green in 2012 at Michigan State and the first one by a guard since Dwyane Wade in 2003 at Marquette.

“It was kind of like when you have a near-death experience and your life flashes before your eyes. I thought back to my first trip up to Madison, my visit. Everything. It is still tough to know that it’s over.”
Ethan Happ of the Wisconsin Badgers, a fifth-year senior, after Wisconsin lost to Oregon Friday in the NCAA tournament, 72-54

I’d like to offer a few more proposals to speed and enliven the game many of us love, often because of its unhurried pace and multifarious strategies:

Don’t bother with actual pitches and hits. They take time and are hard to predict. Have the pitcher point to his stats on a screen, the batter point to his, then each touch a button on a home screen and have algorithms flash the results. Single! Walk! It’s outta here!

Bury gold bricks under each base. Incentivize the play! A potential payoff might encourage more base stealing.

Make managers remove one item of clothing each time the opposing team scores a run. That’ll keep managers in the dugout.

And to really speed up the game, put in antelopes as pinch runners. Antelopes can run 60 miles an hour.
NPR’s Scott Simon


Priest stabbed during Mass


Toxic waters


March Madness, and rightfully so


Fence Dispute in Santa Rosa Leads to Racy Mannequin Display

The UFO community still believes


A 2020 landslide; $$$ and schools; college scandals, and an R for a pro-life movie

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (03/22/19): How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide

Today’s highly interesting read (03/21/19): R rating for this movie is laughable

Today’s highly interesting read (03/19/19): STUDY: K-12 Spending Increases Unlikely to Result in Student Success

Today’s highly interesting read (03/19/18): In colleges it’s not just the admissions that are scandalous

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (03/23/18)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAYMostly sunny. High of 51.   “B”

Overcast with rain showers at times. High of 46.  “D

Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer, with this week’s main blog.

It’s quiz time here at the dog blog. Let’s play.

What is Wisconsin’s official state animal?

If you guessed…

Average Size Mosquito In Wisconsin

Though it’s hard to disagree, you’d be wrong.

This was rather easy. Shame on you if you messed up.

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Badger Culling and Perturbation


State fish?

It could only be…

The muskellenge, better known as the muskie.

Most  people get that. And the state tree. State flower. State bird.

But what about the official Wisconsin dog?

The breed was developed in the Badger State and is firmly entrenched in the Blue Book as the state dog.

What is it?

To borrow a page from my hubby’s blog we’ll give you 30 seconds.

Think about it while the music is playing.

Go ahead. Click!



Wisconsin’s official state dog is…


The American water spaniel.

You didn’t know?

Not many people do.

Here’s important info.  The American water spaniel is one of only five dog breeds developed in the U.S. and the only one that originated in Wisconsin.

It was used beginning in the mid-1800s as a retriever for market hunters, primarily for .

Waterfowl hunters love this breed for its double-coat and hardiness in cold weather.

So why don’t more people know about the importance of this breed and why it has such a special designation here? Because it’s so rare. There are but 3,000 of these dogs…in the world.

The Blue Book accepted this dog in its list of state symbols in 1986.

A state marker in New London commemorates the breed’s standing. From the Blue Book:

 “The American water spaniel was developed as a practical, versatile hunting dog that combined certain physical attributes with intelligence and a good disposition. No flashy show animal, the American water spaniel is described as an unadorned, utilitarian dog that earns its keep as an outstanding hunter, watchdog, and family pet.”

More than half of the 3,000 American water spaniels are found in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, but it’s very difficult to come across one in the Badger State. That’s despite the fact it handle the cold.

And who says blogs aren’t educational!

For more check out the American Water Spaniel Club.
—Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

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Bill would punish people who abandon dogs during hurricanes.

How far will apartments go to get owners to scoop the poop?

Barking Lot update: Attention, Dogs: Bark at Your Owners’ Peril.

ICYMI last week: Dog walking is leading to more broken bones in older adults.

Snow melt reveals dog ‘surprises’ scattered across Riverwest area of Milwaukee.

OPINION: Professor says dogs are better than grandchilden.

Vegan dogs and cats? Study finds some pet owners are feeding their animals plant-based diets.

What Would a Dog Do on Mars?

And the winner is…

And another winner is…

Doggie bartenders?



A serviceman of the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s special forces performs as he marks Internal Forces Day in Minsk, Belarus, on March 17, 2019. Photo: Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters

56 photos, yes, 56 from Texas! It’s bluebonnet season.

And here’s one we missed recently.

King, a wire fox terrier, leans toward a microphone during a media availability at Sardi’s in New York on February 13, 2019. King won Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show the day before. Photo: Mark Lennihan / AP

We close as we always do with our closing video. Once again this week…more than one.

In this inspiring true story, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners.

First,  “Reef is a four-year old Newfoundland, who adores the lakes and sea around her home near Milan, Italy. Her partner is Commandante Ferruccio Pilenga, founder of the Scuela Italiana di Cani Salvataggio (Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs), and a huge advocate for the Newfoundland as a working water dog. Today, Reef is an instructor dog, helping other dogs develop their innate rescue instinct to save human lives. She can deploy from a boat or helicopter, swim for miles without tiring and tow up to 40 times her own weight in the water!”

Reef is featured in the new MAX film “Superhero Dogs.” Her school is the subject of this video.



Now we move to a company called Tombot that has devised a way to improve the quality of life for seniors facing challenges when it comes to being social: a robotic companion dog that behaves and responds like a real dog, but without all the responsibilities of maintaining a living, breathing animal. The company utilized folks at the Jim Henson Creature Shop to produce a robo-dog that looks as lifelike as possible.

Cool, or creepy?




Now here’s a video we shared with you on The Barking Lot on December 9, 2017.

CBS News reported on a growing effort to train dogs not just to be guides, but also to be athletes. Watch.

OK. That was near the end of 2017. Now for the update:

Blind Runner And His Trio Of Guide Dogs Make History In NYC Half Marathon.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

Please consider passing this along to other dog lovers you know.

See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!

Best Cartoons of the Week (03/23/19)


David Fitzsimmons


Gary Varvel

Michael Ramirez

Lisa Benson


A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco


Tom Stiglich

A.F. Branco


Steve Kelley

Chip Bok

Ken Catalino

Joe Heller


Sean Delonas

Ken Catalino


Robert Ariail


Mike Lester


Tom Stiglich


Jeff Koterba

Goodnight everyone, and have an unforgettable weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

One of the greatest singers of all-time would have been 100 years old earlier this week.

Nat King Cole was taught to play the piano by his mother when he was 4. At 15 he dropped out of high school to lead his own bands. A ballad singer and jazz musician, Cole sold more than 50 million records.

“Nat King Cole’s voice is really one of the great gifts of nature,” said Daniel Mark Epstein, author of the 1999 biography Nat King Cole. “Remember, he was never trained as a singer. And so, his voice is absolutely pure. He’s a baritone with absolutely perfect pitch. He sings the notes true and he hits them right in the center.”

This week, remembering Nat King Cole. Let’s get started.

It’s the late 1930’s. Cole is 18, married, living in Los Angeles, and leading his own jazz trio.  The group became so popular that in 1946 it got its own national radio show. No African-American had ever hosted such a program before.  The hits kept coming.

No photo description available.

By the 1950’s Cole played less jazz and started singing more. In 1963 he was featured in a TV special on the BBC.

Even though he downplayed his singing ability, once he stood up from the piano Cole manufactured love songs that the public adored.

“You see, it’s not a case of my personal likes,” Cole said. “I try to please as many people as I possibly can and if I find the people like certain things, I try to give them what they like. And that’s good business too, you see.”

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Next, a rather unusual connection.

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Charlie Chaplin was the king of silent movie comedies.

In the 1936 film “Modern Times” Chaplin plays a factory worker who suddenly has a nervous breakdown and goes mad. During a journey that takes him from the hospital to prison to unemployment, Chaplin comes across a beautiful orphaned girl and helps her  escape from the police.

The final scene shows Chaplin and the girl setting off down a road to a new life. He pauses and points to the corners of his mouth, indicating that she should smile.

Chaplin wrote the music for the song “Smile” that was used in the movie soundtrack. Lyrics were based on that final scene.

Nat King Cole recorded the first version of “Smile” with the lyrics. His daughter, Natalie Cole recorded many of her father’s song and performed them in concert, helping immensely to keep his memory alive.

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Father and daughter were part of a super successful 1991 album “Unforgettable…with Love” that ultimately sold 14 million copies. On the title track Natalie Cole employed a number of over-dubbings allowing her to sing a virtual duet with her dad. Recording engineer Al Schmitt was the mastermind behind the classic collaboration.

“Natalie’s very easy to record,” said Schmitt. “At one point, instead of being in a vocal booth, she came out and stood right there with the orchestra, à la Frank Sinatra. She was amazing.”

The album  won a Grammy Award for Best Engineering.

“Nothing had been attempted like that,” said Natalie Cole. “To lift Dad’s voice, literally, off of that track and put it on a brand new one, and then line it up, match it up, get the phrasing right. I remember listening – everyone listening at the end, and we were just enthralled. It was really wonderful.”

For Cole’s 1996 album “Stardust” the engineering trick was repeated on this standard from the early 1950’s.

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That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

Nat King Cole developed a very nasty habit when he was 14.

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He was a heavy smoker from then on and had a lung removed in early 1965. But doctors said the lung cancer had spread beyond control.

Born on March 17, 1919, Cole died on February 15, 1965. He was only 45. Just before he died his last studio album, “L-O-V-E” was released.

I just can’t resist. Here’s Kyla when she had just turned 7 performing with her school ballet group. Kyla’s classmates voted her “best hip action.” She starts out on your far right.

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Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Humorous history

The job is to make sure a forgotten oldie is never forgotten. That may sound strange, but it’s not.

The Library of Congress this week announced the National Recording Registry class of 2018. It is an annual list of 25 recordings that the library deems worthy of preservation.

“The National Recording Registry honors the music that enriches our souls, the voices that tell our stories and the sounds that mirror our lives” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The influence of recorded sound over its nearly 160-year history has been profound and technology has increased its reach and significance exponentially. The Library of Congress and its many collaborators are working to preserve these sounds and moments in time, which reflect our past, present and future.”

Stan Freberg was a comic genius who built a successful radio career out of using satire in commercials. His 1961 album “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America,” a history lesson in songs and sketches, made the Library of Congress’ list. Time magazine said it may have been the “finest comedy album ever recorded.”

This album track might be considered politically incorrect these days which makes it so entertaining. On “Pilgrim’s Progress” Freberg lends his voice to the character of Mayor Pennypacker who starts a goodwill campaign and invites everyone to “Take an Indian to Lunch.”

Image result for pinterest, stan freberg

Freberg actually flunked history in high school.

Here’s the entire 2018 National Recording Registry:

  1. Yiddish Cylinders from the Standard Phonograph Company of New York and the Thomas Lambert Company (c. 1901-1905)
  2. “Memphis Blues” (single), Victor Military Band (1914)
  3. Melville Jacobs Collection of Native Americans of the American Northwest (1929-1939)
  4. “Minnie the Moocher” (single), Cab Calloway (1931)
  5. “Bach Six Cello Suites” (album), Pablo Casals (c. 1939)
  6. “They Look Like Men of War” (single), Deep River Boys (1941)
  7. “Gunsmoke” — Episode: “The Cabin” (Dec. 27, 1952)
  8. Ruth Draper: Complete recorded monologues, Ruth Draper (1954-1956)
  9. “La Bamba” (single), Ritchie Valens (1958)
  10. “Long Black Veil” (single), Lefty Frizzell (1959)
  11. “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America, Vol. 1: The Early Years” (album), Stan Freberg (1961)
  12. “GO” (album), Dexter Gordon (1962)
  13. “War Requiem” (album), Benjamin Britten (1963)
  14. “Mississippi Goddam” (single), Nina Simone (1964)
  15. “Soul Man” (single), Sam & Dave (1967)
  16. “Hair” (original Broadway cast recording) (1968)
  17. Speech on the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy (April 4, 1968)
  18. “Sweet Caroline” (single), Neil Diamond (1969)
  19. “Superfly” (album), Curtis Mayfield (1972)
  20. “Ola Belle Reed” (album), Ola Belle Reed (1973)
  21. “September” (single), Earth, Wind & Fire (1978)
  22. “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” (single), Sylvester (1978)
  23. “She’s So Unusual” (album), Cyndi Lauper (1983)
  24. “Schoolhouse Rock!: The Box Set” (1996)
  25. “The Blueprint” (album), Jay-Z (2001)



Today’s highly interesting read (03/22/19): How Trump is on track for a 2020 landslide

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Today’s read is from the left-leaning POLITICO:

President Donald Trump has a low approval rating. He is engaging in bitter Twitter wars and facing metastasizing investigations.

But if the election were held today, he’d likely ride to a second term in a huge landslide, according to multiple economic models with strong track records of picking presidential winners and losses.

Credit a strong U.S. economy featuring low unemployment, rising wages and low gas prices — along with the historic advantage held by incumbent presidents… he also could wind up in trouble if the economy slows markedly between now and next fall, and other legal bombshells could explode the current scenario.

Read the entire article here.



Today’s highly interesting read (03/21/19): R rating for this movie is laughable

Next Friday this movie opens in theaters.

Today’s read is from Lauren Green who currently serves as Fox News Channel’s (FNC) chief religion correspondent. She writes:

It seems pretty odd that a movie with no foul language, no gratuitous sex, no violence, no naked bodies, no wild shootings or car chases racking up dead bodies and mangled vehicles would get a rating equal to movies like “Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Die Hard.”

Having just seen the movie in a private screening, I would say its R rating is downright laughable, which makes one think that it is simply an overtly political reaction. What this movie does show is the reality of abortion, and the political power and money Planned Parenthood wields as the No. 1  abortion provider in the country.

Read the entire column here.

THE latest most ridiculous argument against Franklin’s Ballpark Commons

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I don’t attend Franklin Common Council meetings. Normally I have other commitments. But even if I didn’t, spending valuable  time with my family is far more important than watching my ineffective city pols in action.

I DO listen to the tapes of the meetings and monitor the city of Franklin website for meeting updates, agendas, minutes, etc.

So I know what happens at these meetings. Honest to God if you were to attend one of them (there are two each month) you’d swear the entire populace of Franklin was vehemently opposed to Ballpark Commons. Speaker after speaker after speaker during the meeting’s comment period at the beginning of each meeting attacks the project and anyone who supports it.

Same crowd. Same folks. And normally the same arguments.

Now I can understand when a massive development enters an area there will be the usual outrages regarding noise, lights, additional traffic, etc.

But what happened at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting is beyond bizarre and the Twilight Zone. A resident insisted a correspondence from the Milwaukee River Advocates in opposition to Ballpark Commons be officially recorded (it has).

The note from the Milwaukee River Advocates to Franklin Common Council members was dated 06/19/18.

Readers, be prepared. You’re not going to believe this. We’re supposed to be in an uproar over the most exciting economic development project in the history of Franklin because of this notice from David Press, President of the Milwaukee River Advocates that reads in part:

We’re losing more wildlife habitat in cities and suburbs and thus, we’re losing wildlife.

Less sexy but more critical is the devastating loss of insects we’re seeing (up to 82% loss, according to one stud), including bees, butterflies, moths and others, which will create a topple-up effect on the birds, amphibians, and others who eat them, and in turn, the larger animals that eat them, and so on.

Our concern with the Ballpark Commons is that it will have these negative effects. To have such a large, populated, noisy, bright activity happening in areas that is adjacent to wildlife habitat is extremely detrimental.


Click G.1. and scroll down to Page 12 for the entire note from the Milwaukee River Advocates.


Insects will die.

Incidentally the Milwaukee River is nowhere near the Ballpark Commons site. Yet this is what opponents will stoop to. They will say and do anything to smear this project.

Scoff if you will but this is what’s going on at City Hall, even while tens of hundreds support Ballpark Commons. Problem is those tens of hundreds are at home while the moonbats fill the room at City Hall.

If you care about the Ballpark Commons, organize. Assemble. Show up at City Hall for these meetings. Blow the others out of the water with your support. Speak out.

Guaranteed, they will scatter with tails between their legs.

If it means that much to you, don’t let the other side win in the debate of public opinion. You may think this is a done deal but a lot more needs to be done.  Someone take the bull by the horns and organize  showing up in full force to make a powerful statement against these weak NIMBYs.