This Friday feature is typically called “Stuff We Missed,” but we’re temporarily rebranding it “Voter Suppression Stuff We Missed.” You know, because Wisconsin and all.
• Remember last week? When a federal appeals court reversed a ruling that would have allowed extra time to count absentee ballots received after the 8 p.m. Election Day deadline? Well, that ruling could be reversed, too. Groups hoping to once again extend the deadline are taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. “The push came a week after an appeals court determined that none of Wisconsin’s voting laws should be changed because of the coronavirus pandemic,” explains the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “That means absentee ballots will be counted only if they arrive in municipal clerks’ offices by Election Day.”
So, for those scoring at home: State law says absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Even if they’re postmarked on or before Election Day, they don’t count unless they’re in the hands of clerks by the deadline. HOWEVER, a federal judge changed that rule for Wisconsin’s April election, allowing ballots to be counted past Election Day if they were postmarked on or before Election Day. That resulted in 80,000 additional ballots being counted. BUT THEN a federal appeals court reversed that ruling, saying that the state has to stick with its initial voting laws that say ballots have to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. AND NOW groups are trying to dial that back, once again allowing ballots to be counted past Election Day if they were postmarked on or before Election Day. EVERYBODY GOT THAT? [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Anyway, on to some general “Stuff We Missed” stuff. Milwaukee’s overnight parking regulations will be back in effect beginning November 2. The ever-confounding alternate-side-of-the-street rules were suspended back in March because of the COVID-19 crisis. But since that’s over now and the city needs to collect leaves (and the $13 million it receives from fees and tickets and whatnot), they’re back, baby. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Want more COVID-19 restrictions, Milwaukee bars? Mayor Tom Barrett has some strong words for you: “We have not seen as good compliance in the bars, and if the bars want to screw this up, then there’s going to be problems,” the mayor recently said. The mayor ALSO recently said that Milwaukee was exempt from Gov. Evers’ (since-blocked) emergency health order that put a 25% occupancy cap on bars and restaurants, so go figure. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• Even amidst a global pandemic and political and social upheaval, Milwaukee will still find time to argue about the streetcar. Here’s the situation: Money from a federal grant that was previously used to fund the operation of The Hop will soon run out. When that happens, the city will have to take $3.2 million from its own transportation fund to operate the streetcar in 2021. So, one Milwaukee alderman asked, why not suspend service until this whole COVID-19 thing blows over? Turns out, we can’t!
“When we decided to make this improvement we did it in significant part with federal money and as part of that we entered into kind of a contractual agreement or project agreement with the federal government,” Department of Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske told members of the Common Council. “We do have an obligation to operate this for the life of the improvement.”
The streetcar’s COVID-19-era ridership is currently around 30% of estimated levels. [Urban Milwaukee]
• New episode of Milwaukee Kitchen! [YouTube]
• The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will make a stop at Mayfair Mall on Saturday, October 17. Look for it near the Barnes & Noble from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. [CBS 58]
• Colectivo is temporarily closing its Third Ward location at 223 E. St. Paul Ave., along with its Madison location at 25 S. Pinckney St. [WISN 12]
• Star Wars pop-up bar at Movida at Hotel Madrid. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
• Truck Stop on Brady Street opening soon. [OnMilwaukee]
• RIP the YMCA in the Plankinton building. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• LOL Foxconn. [Milwaukee Business Journal]
• We’ll end on a positive, delightful, and completely frivolous note: There’s a petition to make Bob Uecker an honorary Jungle Cruise skipper. “What this world needs to keep us going through the dark winter we are facing down is a trip on the Jungle Cruise with Mr. Baseball himself serving as our beloved Skipper to point out all his favorite plants, the Ruler of the Jungle, and, of course, the eighth wonder of the World, the Back Side of Water!” reads the petition. It currently has nine signatures. [Change.org]
• Have a great weekend, Milwaukee!