Author Archives: Alan EisenBlog

What on earth is a Propmaster?

By Alan Eisenberg, Editor

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What on earth is a Propmaster?  The most amazing propmaster in America works right here in Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.  I know because I personally interviewed Jim Guy for two hours recently.  He is a total genius, with an encyclopedic mind.  That’s just my opinion and I’m sticking to it.  One of Milwaukee’s best kept secrets is that the Rep houses and enormous warehouse that sinks deep into the bowels of the building on East Wells street and is a gazillion feet large.  I saw the following:  a replica Model T Ford (Guy designed and built it) for Ragtime, a copy of an ornate pillow from the studio at Ten Chimneys, or any of the picture frames, crutches, umbrellas and other effects (and I use the term generously) organized at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater; if you didn’t realize that this was a collection of masterpiece props, you might easily think you were in a salvage yard, but every single piece has a story and helps tell one.  Guy and the pieces often travel the country and are even rented out.  Anything someone needs, Jim Guy has it, can build it or can get it.  Guy will appear on the “Alan Eisenberg Show” this very next Sundaynight on WRJN.com (listen live link) or Monday at WRJN.com at the podcast link archive.

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Interfaith Fundraiser Smash Success

Interfaith Fundraiser Smash Success

By Columnist Alan Eisenberg

 On June 13th, Near Southside Interfaith Older Adult Programs held a fundraiser at the Kosciuszko Community Center.  The theme for the event was “Salsa Anyone?”  It was a wonderful luncheon and Salsa Competition, and a full house attended.  Ramon Orozco and Tres Hermanos provided amazing food for the luncheon.  The entrants for the Salsa Competition were Alderman Jose G. Perez, County Supervisor Peggy West, and Alan D. Eisenberg (me!)  I am thrilled to say that I won by popular vote, and I will not reveal my secret recipe.  Dozens of people were allowed to taste the entries and vote.  The invocation was delivered by Father Jose Moreno of St. Patrick’s Congregation.  The Ballet Folklorico provided excellent entertainment.  There was also a silent auction with many items.  Margarita Garcia Guerrero, Executive Director of the organization was the hostess with the mostest!  The sponsors were:  Horny Goat, Super Mercado, Dazzling Designs by Tracy, Paul Mitchell Salon, Carmen Santa Anna, Margarita Garcia-Guerrero <mguerrero@interfaithmilw.org>, Discovery World, Zoological Society, Allen Edmonds, Milwaukee Community Acupuncture, Kosciuszko Community Center, Milwaukee County Parks, Patricia West, Paula Kessel, Celeste Contreras, SPIN Milwaukee, Marie Koch, El Rey, County Supervisor Peggy Romo West, Cathy Padgett, Andre Simms and Ballet Folklorico and Hermanos Aviles.

Interfaith Older Adult Programs
http://home.interfaithmilw.org/

Pierce Elementary Presents Latin American Program

Pierce Elementary Presents Latin American Program

By Alan Eisenberg, Editor

Franklin Pierce Elementary School on Fratney Street in Milwaukee hosted an
exciting Latin American Program involving performances of both vocal and dance music on May 23rd. The school is bi-lingual, so all of the performances were also bi-lingual.  The vocals and dances were derived from a selection from many Latin American countries.  The faculty choreographed the dancing and taught the vocals.  The highlight of the event was a set of dance performances that had been prepared and were performed at the Bradley Center for the “Mad Hot Ballroom Competition” earlier in the week, both tap dancing and ballroom dancing.  The choreographing for that event was assisted by Danceworks, a Milwaukee non-profit that teaches dancing in some
Milwaukee Public Schools.  The Bradley Center performance by Pierce Elementary was sponsored in part by the Greater Milwaukee Board of Realtors.

Mounted throughout the auditorium were flags from all of the Latin American countries.  An interesting narrator/announcer was  Celena Phommachanh who also was part of a celebration of Roberto Clemente’s and Celia Cruz’s lives.  Ms. Phommachanh is also an academic excellence award winner honored at a recent dinner.

Father Jose Moreno Blesses the Wolves

Father Jose Moreno Blesses the Wolves
by Alan Eisenberg, Editor
On Saturday, May 18, The Timber Wolf Preservation Society of Wisconsin hosted a Birthday Bash and Memorial Celebration for its wolves, past and present.  The place, at 6669 South 76th Street, Franklin, was founded in 1967.  At 12:45, the proceeding hosted it’s first “Blessing of the Wolves” performed by Father Jose Moreno of St. Patrick’s Congregation of Milwaukee.  His blessing reminded attendees that God created the animals and the wolves; he also spoke about St. Francis of Assisi, the patron Saint of the animals.  About 400 people attended and the event continued the next day on Sunday.  The photo includes Nancy Jo Dowler, Executive Director and President of the TWPS, Father Jose Moreno, Eagle Scout Candidate Jonathan Niebgoda, and Board Member and Committee Chairman Alan Eisenberg.   The place is open to the public; admission is only $5 for Adults and $2 for children.  For more information go to 
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Many groups attend throughout the year at this educational institution.  The place is totally safe, but one can be closer to the wolves than at a zoo.  It’s exciting!
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Is This Teacher Supernatural?

Is This Teacher Supernatural?
By Alan Eisenberg, Editor

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This is too exciting!  Among all of the other things that I do, I study The History of American Art at UW-M, and my “Prof” is a splendid gentleman by the name of Michael Aschenbrenner.  I have been a student at various universities since 1959 but this guy is the best.  (Boy, am I old!)  Aschenbrenner has an interesting modus operandi of teaching.  He shows a long string of slides of ancient art, but takes the students back in time to the era that the painting describes.  It’s almost magic.  There we are, in 17th century colonial America.  Two months ago, he took us on an amazing Boston graveyard tour, and we wound up being taken back in time to about 1670.  It never even occurred to me to figure out how he had these eery 17th century photos.  Cameras didn’t exist. He was explaining early American sculpture, so I immediately got mentally involved with his explanations and details.  Suddenly a 21st century photo popped up and the class (including me) roared.  It was a photo of Aschenbrenner sitting or squatting next to a 1670 sculptured tombstone with a big grin.  It never occurred to me that Aschenbrenner was that old.  If you take the class, you might wonder!  (He is not hoary with age.)

 

Father Jose Moreno: Doctor, Engineer, Teacher, Jesuit Priest and NOW Poet and Lyricist

Father Jose Moreno:  Doctor, Engineer, Teacher, Jesuit Priest and NOW Poet and Lyricist

By Alan Eisenberg, Editor

Father Jose Moreno is the Jesuit priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. Patrick’s Church, a largely Latino parish on the South Side of Milwaukee on seventh and Washington.  Born in Mexico City, Father Jose Moreno obtained both a master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in biomechanical engineering that included research on developing mathematical models of the human body, and he came on a full scholarship.  Then he returned to Mexico City to become a Jesuit priest.  His resume is extremely diverse.  He has served as a Professor of Mathematics, a missionary, a textbook author and still has his own website: Mathematike.org!  He has been honored, praised, and prayed for.  He is both low keyed and well known, He is not just a man of the cloth, he is a man of God.  We can now add to his resume:  he is officially now a poet and a lyricist.  He has a prison ministry, and a project for Families of the Incarcerated.  First he composed a poem/prayer, and then he gave it to several prison inmates because it was pertinent to their lives.  One of the prisoners surprised Moreno by setting it to music.  Then he took the words and music to his church children’s choir.

These are a part of the wonderful words: I will be a messenger of your peace . . .When I find hatred and revenge, I will bring your love . . .In fights and divisions, I will offer forgiveness and reconciliation . . .When I find doubts and problems, I will share my faith . . . In sadness and sorrow, I will be a sign of joy and friendship . . .I will bring hope and truth . . My life will be a sign of light.   

The music was then performed and recorded.  A CD was produced, and this amazing piece along with nine others are now for sale as a church fundraiser and can be purchased at the church after Mass every Sunday or at the rectory office.  Father Moreno’s sermons are wonderful, and he exhibits a great sense of humor. Heavenly music by a heavenly  children’s choir composed by a Jesuit priest is now for sale!  The cost is only $10 and will make a wonderful Easter gift!

 Father Jose Moreno serves as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. Patrick Catholic Church, but his other projects range from prison ministry to writing math books.

Should County Government Be Abolished Altogether?

Editorial

By Alan Eisenberg, Editor 

In the future?  Definitely, YES.  Think about it folks.  Think about it’s various functions.  Milwaukee County Transit?  It should be handled by the state.  It is really a state functionary.  The buses should run across the state, and be funded by the state.  There should never be County political issues with busses.  The airport?  It should be totally run by state and federal authorities.  It serves the state and the Midwest.  It serves Chicago.  Why should Milwaukee County be footing the bill for anything at the airport.  It is regional and international.  The Zoo?  All of it’s most important decisions have been made for years by the Zoological Society, a non-profit.  Why would we need civilian county supervisors to supervise the elephants.  This is nuts.  The County Courthouse?  It totally houses all of the state courts.  The County Supervisors are seldom found in their offices.  It should be a State Courthouse Building.  The Museum is already no longer run by the County.  Parks and Recreation should be state parks run by managers.  Bring back Sue Black before it’s too late.  And we don’t need a Sheriff’s Department.  It should all be State Police and City Police, just like most of the other states in the country.  Keep the sheriff and the deputies, but transfer all of them to state and city departments.  The county supervisors?  Transfer them all to state or city jobs.  The County Executive?  Waste of money.  We never had one until recent decades around here.  We don’t need one now.  He should be replaced by a State Area Manager.  That’s SAM to you, buster.   Image

Guns, guns, guns, and murder

Guns, guns, guns, and murder
By Alan Eisenberg, Editor
The entire country seems to be in a turmoil because of ferocious gun debates taking place everywhere.  Vice-President Biden has been appointed by President Obama to head a guns and violence task force.  At this time sources say there over 300 million firearms in homes, cars, places of business and people’s pockets.  That’s one gun for every person.  Almost everyone either has one or wants at least one.  The national conversation has been prompted by recent mass shootings and massacres.  The first target in the activists sights are the high-powered military style automatic weapons.  The owners say they need them for hunting and self-defense. Use of a “Bushmaster” would turn a deer into a lead statue in five seconds.  A human being target would become Swiss cheese.  The NRA insists that ownership, possession and use of all firearms is protected by the Second Amendment.  The founding fathers probably knew nothing about Bushmasters and AK 47s.  The NRA has begun a campaign to abolish all “gun-free zones” at schools.  They want armed guards and armed teachers at all schools.  Perhaps all children should be armed with guns at birth.  The next problematic area is that the use of the high-powered guns requires use of high capacity magazines.  With these ammo machines one can kill 200 people in five seconds.  And one Teflon bullet can penetrate 3 people, and even police wearing armor!  Guns don’t kill people, it’s bullets that kill people.  And people kill people.  Why?  Some are worked up after seeing violent video games and movies.  Or violent TV shows.  Or the nightly news!    Many of the worst killers always turn out to be mentally ill.  Announcements are already being made by NRA people and politicians that there will be no changes made legislatively, and any politician who tries will be run out of office.  The President can issue effective (maybe) executive orders.  If one doesn’t want to pay full price, there’s always Wal-Mart, America’s biggest weapons purveyor, or better yet, gun shows where no one gets checked for felony records or mental health commitments.  Even that isn’t the best method anyway, because there are millions of nut-jobs cruising around who have never even seen a doctor.  Is there a solution for all of this?  We would love to read your suggestions;  contact alan@alaneisenberg.com, with your opinions.  The photo is of Ted Nugent, the number one pro-gun guy.  Nice, hmmm?
     

Representative Zamarippa Again Stands For The People

Representative Zamarippa Again Stands For The People
By Alan Eisenberg, Editor

Representative Zamarippa

Governor Scott Walker recently confirmed that he will not consider or grant pardons while he is governor of the state. All previous governors granted pardons. The move has an impact on minorities throughout Wisconsin. As Walker knows, a pardon can open a door for better employment and a multitude of other societal benefits. The local daily reported on the situation this week, but their article was loaded with inaccuracies. State Representative JoCasta Zamarippa how ever took a different stance, and went on the record to indicate that she has begun “her own legislative investigation to look into ‘de-politicizing’ the pardon function and removing it from the Governor’s control.” Many states regulate the pardon function by relegating the responsibility to departments of divisions or corrections, and treat it in a totally NON-partisan way. Governors seeking higher office or re-election can suffer negative consequences if they grant the wrong person a pardon. Non-partisan entities cannot. Standards usually call for long periods of good behavior and/or community acceptance and a long list of other requirements, all of which Walker intents to ignore. Most people believe that offenders should get a second chance if they meet the requirements. Some people believe that even minor offenders should be stigmatized for life. It is possible that the legislature may hold hearings on this important subject in 2013. Some states have recently moved to completely decriminalize some offenses. Should a person in Colorado convicted of mere criminal marijuana possession now be eligible for a pardon? A related topic is expungement in Wisconsin, which is totally left to the discretion of a trial court judge and restricted only to those convicted of misdemeanors between the ages of 18 to 21. All judges are also political officials, who often have one eye on the ballot box. A pardon or expungement does not erase a police record. A pardon is not reported to the convicting court, either. A fresh look at these processes is needed.