Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.

• The city-, state-, and world-changing power of the new downtown Bucks arena won’t be felt for another year or two. Or three. The Journal Sentinel reported this week that under an updated construction schedule, the arena will not be completed until the 2018-’19 NBA season. That’s three more years of anticipation, excitement, and endless debate about the use of public money to fund the arena. Will the arena truly be a catalyst for Milwaukee’s much-ballyhooed “renaissance”? Should the public subsidize a playground for millionaires and billionaires? Does any of this really matter because, hey! The Bucks are throwing a party on November 7 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and DMC of Run-DMC!

• If 2018 seems like a long ways off, don’t worry: another hotly debated project will finally come to fruition that year, as well. The Milwaukee Streetcar (OH GOD THE STREETCAR) was awarded a plum $14.2 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation this week. According to Urban Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Business Journal, the grant will be used for the project’s lakefront spur, located along East Michigan and East Clybourn streets. The lakefront loop is expected to begin service in 2019; the initial downtown system is expected to begin service the year before.

• While the funding of the new Bucks arena continues to reign supreme as the ultimate headline-grabber and rage-inducer (sorry, streetcar), there are other Milwaukee institutions that could use your hard-earned cash, too. The Milwaukee Business Journal reported that the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce will campaign for more public funds for little things like, oh, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee Public Museum, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, and the Milwaukee County Zoo. A task force recently concluded a five-year, half-cent sales tax in Milwaukee County would be the “most viable option.”

• Notorious camera-shy introvert Ald. Bob “This stall is taken, Mr. Donovan!” Donovan dropped a weird “Indians” quote at a press conference this week. According to Urban Milwaukee, Donovan was speaking about adding a new class of 50 rank-and-file police officers to begin training next year, when he noted the city’s police force needed less “chiefs,” and more “Indians.” “No offense to the Native Americans,” Donovan added. “None taken, General Custer!” quipped Urban Milwaukee’s always-quippy Michael Horne.

• The national celebration of Milwaukee’s hip-hop scene continues unabated. This week, These Days took a road trip to Milwaukee and hung out with WebsterX, IshDARR, Bliss & Alice, and more. Impose, meanwhile, spotlighted New Age Narcissism’s knack for “blurring boundaries and uniting communities.”

• Former Milwaukeean Nick Sanborn took some time off from his day job with Sylvan Esso to release a video for “Side Rides,” a song from the debut EP of his solo moniker, Made Of Oak. The EP will be released next week; Flood premiered the haunting, silent-rappers video for “Side Rides” this week.

• Kenny Chesney will bring his “Spread The Love” tour (and Miranda Lambert) to Miller Park June 18, 2016, said the Milwaukee Business Journal. No word yet on whether the show will reach Kenny-Chesney-at-Lambeau-Field levels of drunken debauchery.

Urban Milwaukee continued its grim mission of documenting the slow, painful downfall of the Journal Sentinel, speculating on how things will further deteriorate under the paper’s recent buyer, Gannett.

• Lucky Joe’s Tiki Room (not to be confused with Lucky Joe’s Alchemy & Eatery) is closing this weekend, said OnMilwaukee.

OnMilwaukee also teased a big Monday reveal of the new owner of The Jazz Estate, as well as the owner’s plans for the venerable (and sorely missed) East Side club.

• Happy Halloween weekend, Milwaukee! If you’re still looking for something to do, check out our list of 15 Milwaukee Halloween shows, or our handy events calendar. If your plans are already set in (grave)stone, please enjoy the haunting keyboard theme from those old Gordon Furniture commercials.

About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.