Every Friday, Off The Record looks to other Milwaukee publications (and beyond) for bits of news we missed throughout the week.
• If it feels like years since anyone got riled up about the impending Milwaukee Streetcar, that’s because it has been years—two years, to be exact. But with construction of the first track set for April, an interesting wrinkle has emerged: Who’s going to operate the thing?
Well, how about the County? On Wednesday, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors authorized the County’s Department of Transportation to submit a proposal to operate the Milwaukee Streetcar. “This is an historic opportunity to put the County in the driver’s seat when it comes to the future of public transportation in Milwaukee,” said Supervisor Dimitrijevic in a press release. “Milwaukee County is perfectly situated to run the streetcar as it will be heavily integrated into our current transit system. Operating the streetcar will allow MCTS to provide our riders with an enhanced experience and will attract new riders.”
Neat! Or maybe not. In a detailed report for Urban Milwaukee, Jeramey Jannene shares his doubts:
“What’s clear from this 11th hour push to operate the Milwaukee Streetcar is that neither Abele nor the county board has great interest in actually operating the streetcar. While Mayor Tom Barrett and alderman and leading streetcar proponent Robert Bauman mentioned years ago they thought the logical party to be paid to operate the streetcar was the county, county officials have sat idly by watching the project take shape. Now an attempt to put a bid in has come weeks after the long-anticipated RFP was issued on February 17th.
“With the right partner who had streetcar operating experience, the county stood a good chance of winning the bid and potentially turning a profit for the county at the city’s expense. Instead that money will likely go to one of the yet-to-be identified parties who were in attendance at a required March 2nd pre-proposal meeting for the system. Instead of planning for the RFP months ago, the county’s bid is coming in a belated fashion, and mired in something all too familiar to Milwaukee County citizens—finger pointing by the county board and county executive.” [Urban Milwaukee]
• The so-called “People’s Flag of Milwaukee”—available for $55!—is a bike now. Milwaukee bike builder Fyxation Bicycle Co. created a custom yellow and blue two-wheeler because “we believe in [the People’s Flag]. We think it’s a good step forward for the city.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Documentary film The Blood Is At The Doorstep, which tells the story of the shooting death of Dontre Hamilton and the ensuing activism from his family, will screen at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. The trailer is online now. [Shadow And Act]
• Excited to see Monday’s Chris Rock show at the Milwaukee Theatre? So are we. But heads up: not only will there be a “no phones allowed” policy (a la Dave Chappelle), you’ll have to lock up your phone in one of those Yondr pouches, which kind of look like socks. Per Rock’s website: “Anyone caught with a cell phone in the venue will be immediately ejected. We appreciate your cooperation in creating a phone-free viewing experience.” [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Evan Rytlewski asked “Is Milwaukee’s Electronic Music Scene on the Brink of a Boom?” [Shepherd Express]
• The Platinum Boys released a new single, “Lord Knows,” from their upcoming Buzz LP. The album is due March 31 on Forged Artifacts and Dusty Medical Records, and “Lord Knows” is fucking great. [Post Trash]
• Midnight Reruns released a new fucking great single, too. “Hold Up The Mirror” is from the band’s upcoming full-length album Spectator Sports, due March 24 on—you guessed it—Forged Artifacts and Dusty Medical Records. [The Grey Estates]
• Here’s the 2017 Jazz in the Park schedule. [Shepherd Express]
• RadioMilwaukee explored the history of women and beer (“Let’s go back to 1800 B.C.”), and profiled a group of Milwaukee women who call themselves Barley’s Angels. [RadioMilwaukee]
• Mark Waldoch is a goddamn Milwaukee treasure. [OnMilwaukee]
• The big blue Henry S. Reuss Federal Plaza office building on West Wisconsin Avenue is for sale. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Milwaukee rapper MoG. released his debut single/video “Gift Shop Exit,” from his upcoming album Learn From Your Mistakes. The video was shot at Jazale’s Art Studio, and co-directed by Jose Nunez of CTM Films&Music and DSCRIBE. [YouTube]
• Bosley on Brady is becoming The Diplomat, which will offer “a seasonal menu focused on small, shareable plates.” [OnMilwaukee]
• The Shorewood Sendik’s is closing! [OnMilwaukee]
• Buca di Beppo is closed! [OnMilwaukee]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!