My Most Popular Blogs (02/25/19)

Here are my most popular blogs from last week, Sunday – Saturday:

1) In Franklin, what if Le Roy could pull it off?

2) The Best Cartoons of the Week (02/23/19)

3) Once again, there is ANOTHER side in the “Dark Store Loophole” debate

4) Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: The Sweathog

5) Provocative comments by Wynton Marsalis

6) The Best Memes of the Week (02/17/19)

7) The Best Photos of the Week (02/17/19)

8) The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (02/23/19)

9) Goodnight everyone, and have a significant weekend!

10) Culinary no-no #601





Culinary no-no oldie looks at pizza



Ran out of time this week so a new Culinary no-no will have to wait until next Sunday. The one I’m planning flies against all conventional wisdom. Today we dig into our vault for an oldie but goodie from September of 2015, Culinary no-no #442:

This week, a popular culinary topic we haven’t discussed in a while.

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Last month the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published the results of its 2015 Top Choice Awards, selected by readers.

Note the #1 choice, Doc’s Dry Dock in Pewaukee…

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Online reviewers rave about their pies.

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Also rating high, in Wauwatosa…

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In all kinds of weather, the line to get in Balisteri’s on a Saturday night goes out the door  where folks have to wait to be called. It’s worth it.

And located on Milwaukee’s lower east side….

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I checked out the menus for the three restaurants pictured above and found nothing strange. You can certainly get any of these TOP TEN FAVORITE TOPPINGS  according to Foodler:

1. Pepperoni

2. Mushrooms

3. Onions

4. Sausage

5. Bacon

6. Extra cheese

7. Black olives

8. Green peppers

9. Pineapple

10. Spinach

Want out of the ordinary? Here’s another listing:

Image result for chefuniforms, pizza toppings

Try as I might, I couldn’t verify any great demand for, or a significant increase in places offering this as a pizza topping…

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At Avalanche Pizza in Athens, Ohio, they make a Loaded Baked Potato Pie, which their menu describes:  Our Savory Bechemel Sauce, a Half Pound of Mozzarella and Provolone, Crisp Broccoli Florets, Crunchy Lean Bacon, topped with Crispy Roasted Potatoes and Lots O’ Cheddar Cheese!

John Gutekanst, the owner of Avalanche Pizza this month wrote in Pizza Today that when it comes to potatoes on pizza, don’t laugh.

Yes, this lowly tuber may seem an unlikely companion to pizza. But once your customers experience its broad flavor and textural horizons it can become a real crowd favorite and a real food cost hero in your menu matrix.

Ten years ago, a farmer named Bill Shores convinced me to put his local potatoes and local garlic on my menu. I didn’t know what to do with them so I just cut and passed them through my ovens as a chunky topping accompaniment for my ribeye steak. My customers went crazy for them and this got my attention.

As with cheeses, potatoes of different types and shapes can be perfect for certain types of pizzas depending on texture, starch and moisture content (and even skin type).
Potatoes are big business in Wisconsin. So I should have been able to find some destinations where this potato trend has caught on.

Close to home the only restaurant serving anything like what they make at Avalanche is Trattoria di Carlo in Oak Creek.

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Their New Age Italian is prepared with red sauce, mozzarella, sliced all beef hot dog and crispy French fries.

Farther away there’s Roadhouse Pizza in Ripon, WI …

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BAKED POTATO PIZZA: potatoes, bacon, shallots, green onions, sour cream, mozzarella & cheddar cheese with white cream sauce. And in downtown Plymouth, WI,  you can get potatoes on your pie here:

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At Deo’s , the Loaded Baked Potato: Cheddar Sauce, mozzarella, baked potato, bacon ground beef, onions and a gourmet spice blend, topped with sour cream and chives.

I’m thinking I’d try the steak and potato pizza at the Avalanche and probably like it. But it wouldn’t be my first choice.

Can’t argue with these…

America's Favorite Pizza Toppings Infographic

To view previous Culinary no-no blogs, click here.

UPDATE: Former Franklin High coach charged with sexually assaulting student

Previously on This Just In…


A very reliable source told me the Franklin Public Schools administration has a serious problem it needs to fix.

In the Franklin Public Schools there is a background check for new hires. Then the background checks for those individuals stop. My source believes there should be universal background checks for school employees conducted every year. The cost would be a few thousand dollars per year. Arguing against such an expenditure would probably be difficult. Franklin’s school board should consider taking such action.

Other thoughts come to mind. Who hired this kid? Did a local kid get the job with no one really paying attention?

Did the administration hire from within, someone they know and someone they thought they could control? That’s the MO of school boards these days. School boards are not equipped to manage a team of professionals. Board members in general are happy to get opportunities to attend a state conference and occasional national conference. They feel important because of the bones tossed their way. Meanwhile they lose sight of the fact the superintendent works for them. In Franklin they think and act like it’s the other way around.

Photos of the Week (02/24/19)

A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.

1) President Donald Trump greets attendees at the National African American History Month Reception at the White House in Washington. Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young

2) Tombs are vandalized in the Jewish cemetery of Quatzenheim, eastern France. Marches and gatherings against anti-Semitism are taking place across France following a series of anti-Semitic acts that shocked the country. Photo: AP

3) Children walk on garbage during an annual Lampung bay clean-up event in the Sukaraja village in the Bumi Waras subdistrict of Bandar Lampung, Indonesia. Photo: AFP

4) The light on top of the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, illuminates snow falling during a winter storm on February 20, 2019. The National Weather Service in Las Vegas issued a winter-weather advisory for the area overnight. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty

5) An upside-down pair of pants is seen embedded in a snowbank in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 20, 2019, after yet another snowstorm hit the city. Photo: Nati Harnik / AP

6) A pangolin looks for food on private property in Johannesburg, South Africa, on February 15, 2019. World Pangolin Day was observed around the globe on February 16. Photo: Themba Hadebe / AP

7) Ryan Blaney (no 12), Aric Almirola (10), Paul Menard (21), David Ragan (38) and Matt DiBenedetto (95) in a pile-up between turns three and four of the Nascar Daytona 500 race at Daytona International Speedway.  Photograph: Phelan M Ebenhack/AP

8) Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson reacts after falling when his shoe split during the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium om Durham, North Carolina. Photo: USA TODAY SPORTS

9) Fans watch as Luke Maye of the North Carolina Tar Heels waits to throw the ball inbounds against the Duke Blue Devils during their game at the Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, on February 20, 2019. North Carolina upset #1-rated Duke. Photo: Streeter Lecka / Getty

10) Servicemen of the Belarusian Interior Ministry’s special forces unit take part in event “Winter fun” at their base in Minsk, Belarus. Photo: Reuters

11) The head of Godzilla, a Japanese monster movie character, is seen on a building of Toho Cinema in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Reuters

12) Giant figures of French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are seen during the 135th Carnival parade in Nice, France. Photo: Reuters

13) A model presents a creation adorned with images of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at London Fashion Week Women’s A/W19. Photo: Reuters

Week-ends (02/23/19)

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…


Ryan Belcher

C.B. Fleming

Jess Rollisson


Jussie Smollet

R Kelly

Lisa Britt


“We have a terrific and dedicated group of city workers who are out there doing the job, but for goodness sake, they could use a little help with a few extra bodies. The city bonded for $49 million for the streetcar and we can’t keep a reliable fleet for snow plows out on the streets? To me that is financially reckless behavior on the part of this administration. Our city priorities are seriously out of order and it’s time for Mayor Barrett to explain how he’s going to fix them before Milwaukee is totally buried under snow.”
Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski who has announced he’s running for mayor

“As a cancer survivor, I know the side effects of a major illness can make everyday tasks a challenge. People shouldn’t be treated as criminals for accessing a desperately-needed medication that can alleviate their suffering. Wisconsinites overwhelmingly agree that this is a critically important issue. But it’s not just about access to health care, it’s about connecting the dots between racial disparities and economic inequity.”
Governor Tony Evers announced that his budget will include proposals to legalize medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, establish an expungement procedure for individuals who have completed their sentence or probation for possession, and align Wisconsin’s laws on cannabidiol, also known asCBD oil, with federal standards

“Families in Wisconsin deserve the right to legally access medical marijuana to alleviate a wide variety of symptoms related to medical conditions, such as cancer, glaucoma, and seizures. Patients that need medication should not be treated as criminals. Access to medical marijuana is an especially important tool in our state’s battle to fight the opioid epidemic, which has needlessly destroyed the lives of too many.”
The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals

“Not only does Evers’ plan put Wisconsin at odds with federal law, the state’s business leaders are concerned about the impacts marijuana decriminalization will have on workplace safety. Employees who test positive for marijuana use had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries and 75 percent greater absenteeism compared to those who tested negative, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Additionally, from 2010 to 2013, car crashes involving marijuana went up 300 percent and, as more states legalize the drug, those rates continue to increase.”
The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the state’s largest business association – urged Gov. Tony Evers to rethink his plan to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use

“When we are dealing with opioids as the single biggest health crisis this state has ever had, you are going to tell me legalizing more drugs is the answer? Absolutely not.”
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. On Thursday a bill to legalize cannabis in his  state moved forward by just one vote.

“The accusation within this phony attack received national attention for weeks. Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor.

“This announcement today recognized that ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career. I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’ Why would anyone — especially an African American man — use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusation.  Bogus police reports cause real harm. They do harm to every legitimate victim who is in need of support by police and investigators as well as the citizens of this city … I’m offended by what happened and I am also angry.”
Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson called out celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates on Thursday for their decision to amplify coverage of what he said was the “phony attack” against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett

“Smollett should not get off easy. He should face jail time for concocting this horrible story; wasting resources, time and money of the Chicago Police Department; and abusing the trust of those who believed him. Meanwhile, Smollett’s story should not deflect attention from a real problem that exists: white nationalists who seek to sow racial hatred and kill in the name of a hateful ideology. There are real monsters out there, but making up fictitious ones to gain attention makes it harder to convince people they exist.”
Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity

“Now Smollett has been arrested and journalists still haven’t learned a thing. They whine that Trump and his supporters are anti-First Amendment, even though that same amendment also protects Trump’s speech along with their own.

“And too few journalists want to admit they are the problem, or that hype and clicks go hand-in-hand with hatred and division. News exists to report on the problems of the world. Yet it is thoroughly incapable of reporting on the problems of the news itself.

“Most journalists don’t want the truth. They want the narrative that depicts them as good guys, as truth tellers – no matter how many stories they get wrong or how many lives they ruin doing it.”
Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center

“Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty. My dear departed grandmothers … as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not, with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics.”
Donald Harris, the Jamaican-born father of Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris and a professor of economics at Stanford. He was reacting to his daughter  who admitted to smoking pot — “I did inhale.” She was also asked by a radio host about accusations that she has, in the past, opposed legalization efforts. “Half my family’s from Jamaica,” she said. “Are you kidding me?”

“My constituents want jobs. It would have been 25,000 jobs at $150,000 minimum for the job. There were promises for a new school, and as a former teacher, I was intrigued with their plans to have a curriculum in 30 different schools supported by Amazon on high tech. We should be really diversifying our base of taxes, our base of businesses. We are too dependent on financial services.

“It used to be that we would protest wars. Now we are protesting jobs? People are complaining about jobs coming to your [city] … If this had gone through, it would have made overnight New York City the high-tech capital of the east coast, the most important job center for tech jobs.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was not too happy with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) celebrating Amazon nixing a plan to build a headquarters in New York City

“You say the media is mostly liberal. I agree with you. It’s true. Why can I say that with certainty? Well first of all I’ve been part of this for all my life, I’m 47 now and I’ve been a journalist since I was 17 and the media everywhere is mostly liberal not just in the U.S, but in this country 85 percent of journalists are registered Democrats so that’s just a fact.

“For example, the coverage on Trump, all the time, is negative,” she continued. “There’s no mitigating policy, or event or anything that has happened since he was elected that is out there in the media that you can read about, right? Well, that tells you, that’s distortion of the way things go in real life.

“Although the media has always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense or at least the effort to be objective today. We’ve become political activists, and some could argue propagandists, and there’s some merit to that.”
CBS’s Lara Logan in a candid interview with former U.S. Navy Seal, dog trainer, and author Mike Ritland on his Mike Drop podcast

“Greg Gard’s players battled uphill all night Monday at the Kohl Center. Imagine one man trying to lug a piano up 20 flights of stairs that have been coated in grease and you understand the type of night Wisconsin endured.”
Jeff Potrykus writing in the Journal Sentinel about Wisconsin’s 64-58 win over Illinois


This columnist is probably right


Suburban women, Trump, and the wall


The Oscars


On the golf course…

The fake hate crime; an Oscar controversy hits home; she explains her late-term abortion; and what national gloom?

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (02/22/19): What’s been lost in the Smollett story

Today’s highly interesting read (02/21/19): Fake Hate Crimes, False Narratives

Today’s highly interesting read (02/20/19): Oscar-nominated Green Book is a ‘symphony of lies’

Today’s highly interesting read (02/19/19): What kind of woman has a late-term abortion?

Today’s highly interesting read (02/18/19): Despite national gloom, we’re actually pretty happy with our lives and neighbors

Former Franklin High coach charged with sexually assaulting student

This went out to families of students in the Franklin school district from the superintendent:

Dear Families,

The Franklin Police Department has informed District Administration that a Franklin high school student has made a report of inappropriate contact involving an individual who, at the time of the incident, was a volunteer coach for the District. Charges were filed as a result of the report.

Upon hearing of the charges, administrators removed the individual from the District’s database of approved community partners (volunteers and visitors). The Franklin Police Department immediately communicated to the individual that he was to have no contact with any school staff, students or events.  Upon charging the individual, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office has issued a No-Contact Order to the individual.

We wish to make it clear that the well-being and safety of all of our students is our top priority. The District conducts background checks on all individuals before clearing them for access to our schools and we require all visitors to check-in at the main office of all our buildings.

An investigation of the individual’s file uncovered that he was also recently employed as a summer custodian. He passed a background check and there were no reports of misconduct during his time with the District. Staff who interacted with him state that there was no indication that he might pose a threat to our student’s safety and wellbeing.

The incident occurred outside of the school day and off school grounds. However, under no circumstances does the District tolerate any inappropriate conduct affecting our students. If information is ever presented to District personnel that any such inappropriate conduct may be taking place, it is immediately investigated and handled as appropriate, including notification of law enforcement.

We understand this is troubling information for you and your child(ren). Students are encouraged to talk with their school counselor if this news is upsetting to them, or if they have their own experience that is causing them distress.

Please talk with your students about the serious effects of sexual misconduct and encourage them to respect the privacy of the parties involved.


Dr. Judy Mueller

The Journal Sentinel has the story.

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (02/23/19)

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. And this could be the worst weekend of the year thus far.


Mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of up to one inch and ice accumulations of up to two tenths of an inch expected in portions of east central and southeast Wisconsin from 6 AM to noon Saturday. Plan on slippery road conditions. A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

More Information: A mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will move east across southern Wisconsin from early morning Saturday to the late morning. Expect ice accumulations of one tenth to one quarter of an inch, with lesser ice accumulations toward central Wisconsin. Temperatures will warm above freezing by afternoon with rain then likely.

High of 36.  “F”

Windy with snow showers before noon. Partly cloudy later. Morning high of 33 with temps falling to near 20. “F”

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

Growing up, I had two dogs and a cat.  Sugar (Basenji-Cocker Spaniel) and Tommy (mixed breed/Persian rescue) got along quite well.  When we added Skippy (English Springer Spaniel/mixed breed rescue) to the mix the pet dynamics got a little more complicated.

Tommy hated Skippy and make it pretty well known in the family.  The puppy would NOT be tolerated under any circumstances.  Tommy had to be confined to our lower level and introduced to Skippy in small doses.  Clearly in her little doggy mind this was never forgotten…  Skippy quickly grew to be much larger than Tommy and on more than one occasion reminded him of that.

There were a few times we wondered if it was worth it.  Should we return Skippy to my Grandma?  (She had been a gift for my Grandpa who passed away just a few months after we got her.)  We tried… but she missed my dad so terribly that she wouldn’t eat or drink without the sight of him.

That probably should have been our first clue that we weren’t dealing with a psychologically stable dog.  But we managed.  Skippy came to live with us permanently and we managed as best we could.  Believe it or not Tommy & Skippy eventually came to a mutual understanding and a semi-cordial relationship.

Fast-forward a couple of years.  All pets age, and Sugar was our first to cross the Rainbow Bridge.  Skippy & Tommy left behind, they turned their semi-cordial relationship to one of actual friendship.  Tommy was next to cross the Bridge and none of us were prepared for what would happen next.

Skippy immediately stopped eating (like when she had been separated from my dad.)  We ruled out any sort of physical maladies and came to soon realize that she actually missed Tommy.  We could cajole her into eating if she was literally hand fed.  Cat food.  Yes that’s right.  She would eat nothing but the food we had previously feed Tommy.  Oi vay.

Although it wouldn’t have been in our family budget, we probably would have benefited from a little canine psychotherapy.  Clearly that wasn’t a thing over 20 years ago.  But it certainly is now.  Not sure how I feel about the whole concept but it certainly does provide food for thought.

Read more. 
—Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

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

Advocates Stand Up in Court for Abused Animals.

Residents in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood say a homeowner’s sign about cleaning up dog waste has gone too far.

Dog owner trapped in manure nearly died.

Sully meets Sully! George H.W. Bush’s service dog meets hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger.

In nearby Burlington, suspect allegedly fled police, hid in dumpster; K-9 assists.

Church goes to the dogs: Florida congregation holds pooch-friendly service.

Terminally Ill Woman Plans to Marry Her Rescue Dog in ‘Big Italian Wedding’ For Charity.

The story behind the guy who went to a Dallas dog park covered in peanut butter.

Dog owners take more pictures of their pet than their spouses.



Geneva and Belka, a pair of border collies, play during a training session on the frozen Yenisei River outside Krasnoyarsk, Russia, on February 17, 2019. Photo:Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

We close as we always do with our closing video, and there are a few.

First, these dogs keep doing it repeatedly. The video is in this article.

Next, more than 100 days after California’s deadliest wildfire broke out, a Paradise family has been reunited with their dog, Kingston.

This one’s lengthy, but worth it.

A Los Angeles TV show host took a three-legged rescue dog to the pet store and bought him everything he touched. Rocky Kanaka took King, a homeless senior dog to the pet store earlier this month. King was abandoned after being hit by a car.  His leg was broken and ultimately had to be amputated, Kanaka shared. However, King had reportedly been rehabilitated and was “doing great,” but he still hadn’t been adopted. So, Kanaka took King into PetCo and allowed him to wander about.  Any item that King touched was put in the shopping cart.

And my wife just might be right. Maybe we do need a dog.

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!

The Best Cartoons of the Week (02/23/19)


Rick McKee

Chip Bok

Sean Delonas

Gary McCoy

A.F. Branco

Tom Stiglich

Steve Kelley

AL Goodwyn

Steve Breen


Ken Catalino

Gatis Sluka

Steve Breen


Tom Stiglich

Ken Catalino

Bob Gorrell


Michael Ramirez

Joe Heller


Steve Kelley

A.F. Branco

Michael Ramirez


Gary Varvel


A.F. Branco


Michael Ramirez


Steve Kelley