Monday, October 4, 2010

City, county announcing gang diversion program tomorrow

The city put out word today that Mayor Dickert and County Executive McReynolds will unveil a gang diversion program tomorrow. Several law enforcement officials will be there too. 

Here's the press release: 
City of Racine Mayor John Dickert and Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds will announce a new County-wide Gang Diversion Plan at a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 2 p.m., on the east plaza of the Racine County Courthouse, 730 Wisconsin Avenue.
Joining them will be Sheriff Robert Carlson, Racine Police Chief Kurt Wahlen, District Attorney Michael Nieskes, Racine Unified School District Superintendent Dr. James Shaw, Debbi Embry, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, and Jonathan Delagrave, Director of Racine County Human Services.
Also present will be Raymond J. Luick of the State of Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance (OJA). A grant from the OJA funded the planning process.
In event of inclement weather, the press conference will be held in the first floor conference room of the courthouse.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Faith, business, labor and activists gather to discuss transit on Sept. 30

The Racine Interfaith Coalition (RIC), and Transit Now! will sponsor a Transit Forum on:

Thursday, September 30 - 6:30-8:00 pm
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection
322 Ohio Street, Racine

The theme of the evening will be:

“Some people use public transportation, but the whole community benefits!”

Co-sponsors for the event include:
  • Downtown Racine Corporation, 
  • IBEW Local 430 
  • Hispanic Business and Professionals Association, 
  • Racine Peace and Justice Coalition, 
  • Racine Transit Task Force, 
  • SE WI Building & Construction Trades, 
  • Sierra Club-Gateway Group and John Muir Chapter, 
  • WisPIRG, and 
  • UW Parkside Student Government
Public officials, religious leaders, business leaders and union leaders are among those who have confirmed their attendance. The highlights of the evening will be first-person testimonials from people who depend on the bus for work, school and other needs. Personal stories will be shared in person and by video.

The forum will also provide solid data on Transportation, which has recently suffered from a great deal of mis-information. Some of the topics to be discussed will include the coming referendum, the status of the KRM commuter rail, and Regional Transit Authorities (RTA’s).

The evening will also feature Casey Stanton, national staff of the Transportation Equity Network, who will share stories of successes and challenges in other communities, as well as the outlook on the national level for investments in Transit.

For more information, please call Nancy Holmlund at (262) 886-3602, or

Kerry Thomas at (414) 303-1951

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers needed for event teaching teens about real-life costs

The Racine Unified School District in partnership with Educators Credit Union is hosting the 4th Annual “Reality Check.” On Wednesday, October 13, over 700 high school upper classmen will arrive at Roma Lodge, 7130 Spring Street, to navigate among stations that represent expenses that the students can expect in real life. Volunteers are needed to supervise the stations and help students understand how costs such as utilities, entertainment, and medical bills affect the bottom line. Volunteer training begins at 7:00 a.m., students arrive after 7:30 a.m., and the event runs until 2:30 p.m. Breakfast is provided.

Do you play a portable instrument like a guitar, accordion, or violin? What a treat it would be for bed-bound residents of Ridgewood Health Care Center for you to stroll down the halls and share your musical talents! These individuals are not able to participate in group activities and outings. Think what a gift an hour of your time would mean for them! Schedules are flexible.

The Volunteer Respite Program offers a break for parents of children with special needs by taking care of the children at respite events on a regular basis. The events have 60-80 children, each of whom is matched for the day with one or two volunteers. A nursing staff and behavioral specialists are in attendance for the children’s needs. Lunch and snacks are provided for all. Time is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Areas of activity include a gym or park setting with games, crafts, face painting, movies and more.

The Volunteer Center of Racine County is looking for volunteers to help create Safe Assured ID CD kits for those 55 and better in our community. Volunteers will learn how to tape streaming video of individuals walking and talking, take digital fingerprints, and capture still photographs. Families or caregivers receive a CD containing the encrypted data as ell as a credit card style ID. If your loved one should wander, you have current information to hand over to law enforcement. Officers have the capability to un-encrypt the data and get it out to the public as soon as possible. Early retrieval means a safer recovery.

Hub of Senior Services, 1220 Mound Avenue, needs Thursday morning food delivery drivers. Grocery items are taken to homebound individuals who do not have transportation to the food pantry. Volunteers must be able to lift a 30 pound bag. Volunteer opportunities are for regular and substitute drivers.

The AARP Tax-Aide program is looking for volunteers to help seniors of moderate to low income with the filing of their income taxes. Training is provided in January which leads to certification as a Tax-Aide. Time commitment is four hours of counseling per week during February, March and April. (Contact Cynthia Koepke at 262-639-3505.)

If you are interested in any of the listed volunteer opportunities or others on file at the Volunteer Center of Racine County, call 262-886-9612 or toll free (Racine County only) at 1-800-201-9490 or email us at or visit our web site at Office hours are weekday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 6216 Washington Avenue, Suite G.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DRC announces winner of 30th Anniversary pearl pendant

Chris Sklba (left) with Robert Philopulous

The Downtown Racine Corporation has announced the winner of the pearl pendant that was created by Chris Sklba of Art Metals Studio in honor of the DRC’s 30th Anniversary. 

The winner is Robert Philopulous of Racine. Philopulous, who is a frequent visitor to Downtown Racine, docks his boat along Root Riverduring the summer months. He is also a frequent Downtown shopper and finds the restaurants along Main and Sixth some of his favorites.

The Downtown Racine Corporation partnered with local Downtown jeweler and designer, Chris Sklba, to help promote DRC’s 30thAnniversary during the month of August. Because pearls are the symbol of a 30th anniversary, Sklba created an original-design pearl pendant to commemorate this special occasion. Valued at over $1,100, the pendant is palidium silver with sterling and 18ky mokume-gane and a Tahitian pearl.

The winning name was drawn on Saturday, September 11, during the “Clocks on the Auction Block” public art auction at Monument Square.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Commentary: For a Real Return on Investment, Mentoring Works

When you were a kid, who was that really cool adult whom you knew believed in you? Who took the time to ask about your favorite movie star or took you out to shoot some hoops? Who could you talk to about a tough teacher at school or a friend who was giving you a hard time? Who was the adult who helped guide you and shape the person you are today?

For some of us, that person was a parent or relative. For others, it was a coach, a teacher, or maybe even a first-time job supervisor who took the time to care, ask questions, and listen. Unfortunately, for many of today's youth, no one fills that bill.

Each of us was fortunate. We had adults who invested in us, cared about our futures, and challenged us to realize our full potential. We each had a least one mentor who believed in us and challenged us to believe in ourselves. Our mentors helped shape our lives and played key roles in helping us to become the individuals we are today. We will each surely remember our mentors for a lifetime.

While a caring adult is not a panacea for all the challenges a youth faces today, it sure can make a difference. Our region's low educational attainment rates, high youth at-risk population, and significant juvenile crime issues have many causes that often require complex and costly intervention strategies to address. And yet, there is a simple, no-cost strategy that research has demonstrated can help turn around a kid who is making poor choices and help that child become a more productive citizen. Mentors make a difference.

One of the amazing things about being a strong mentor is that it doesn't take a trained counselor or educator to do the job. It takes a caring adult willing to make a commitment to stick with a child for at least one year and help that young person to grow strong. The research is compelling in this area. Kids who have had mentors are more likely to stay in school, stay out of trouble, develop successful career paths, and be more engaged community members. As community leaders, we believe the return on investment of mentoring is just too good to pass up.

Fortunately, becoming a mentor in our region is simple. Mentor Kenosha & Racine, a collaborative effort involving business, government, education, and nonprofit organizations; was created to help caring adults become mentors. Working in partnership with established mentoring programs at organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, John XXIII in Racine, and various other community groups, Mentor Kenosha & Racine is recruiting and training mentors for our kids. This effort is bolstered by a half-million dollar grant garnered by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

We urge you to take one hour out of your week and head to a nearby school, community program, or faith-based organization and help nurture a child's future. If we truly want to live in a community that cares about youth and produces educated citizens who can comprise a highly qualified workforce, we need to take action today. Investing in mentoring earns dividends that have value for every business leader's bottom line, every educator's grade sheet, and every community leader's list of active citizens.

School is starting.
Mentoring works.

Become a mentor today at or call 262-595-2652 for more information.


William McReynolds, Racine County Executive

John Dickert, Racine Mayor

James Shaw, Racine Unified School District Superintendent

David Moyer, Burlington Area School District Superintendent

Michael Kobylka, RAMAC President & CEO

Deborah Ford, UW-Parkside Chancellor

F. Gregory Campbell, Carthage College President

Bryan Albrecht, Gateway Technical College President

Jim Kreuser, Kenosha County Executive

Keith Bosman, Kenosha Mayor

Michele Hancock, Kenosha Unified School District Superintendent

Todd Battle, Kenosha Area Business Alliance President

Friday, September 10, 2010

Youth Stand Up & Promote Peace Rally on Sept. 11

With great need for peace within the Racine community, students will show homage for 9-11 victims, their families, and the nation which was struck by horrific acts of violence nine years ago. This rally is a climatic ending to a summer program geared toward showing young people that there are alternatives to gangs and gang activities.

On Saturday, September 11 the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center will host the “Stand Up and Promote Peace Rally,” an event to promote peace in our neighborhoods and in the country. 

The Racine Interfaith Coalition has been in collaboration with A&S Unlimited Solutions over the past months and has worked toward motivating, empowering, and creating positive change within the lives of youth. The final project “Yes I Can Be an Entrepreneur” allowed students to build business plans providing students with a better understanding of entrepreneurship. While learning the areas within business development students also learned through the experiences of other business professionals within the city of Racine. 

Students were able to meet directly with Brent Oglesby of Dewey Rose Capital as their business advisor, CPA Kenneth Davidson of Plant the Right Seed as their accounting expert, Felix Servantez of Servantez Law offices as their legal expert, and William Brumfield of Allstate Insurance as their insurance advisor. Students were broken into two groups where they elected to create a sporting goods company along with a childcare center as their businesses ventures.

The Stand up & Promote Peace Rally will begin at 11 a.m., lasting until 4 p.m. Shani Kyle of The Women’s Resource Center, Gang experts Maurice Horton President & CEO of Why Gangs, Sammy Rangel of Racine Psychological services, and Stonebridge Consulting will empower attendees to stand up and promote peace. 

Attendees will also be given the opportunity to enter into the “REP YOUR PEACE” contest that will allow them to express PEACE and the need to end violence through their own interpretation of song, dance and poetry. This contest will offer a cash prize of $100.00 to the student who has the best representation of peace.

The rally will end at 4 p.m. with a peaceful march from the center to the base of the Dr. Martin Luther King statue. Their Racine Interfaith Coalition organizer Rev. Michael Muller, will lead the young people in a prayer for peace throughout the city of Racine and the United States of America.

The event is sponsored by RIC’s Violence No More program, A & S Unlimited Solutions and the DR. Martin Luther King Center.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Roots & Legends offers class on 'Pediatric Herbal Formulas'

Arthur Shattuck, physician of Chinese medicine, will be leading classes in Chinese herbal medicine. He has been in private clinical practice for over 26 years. His hospital studies have included internships in Taipei, Taiwan, Beijing and Shanghai, China.

Classes will be offered on a somewhat regular basis - you may come to one or to a series. Each lecture will be considered as a stand alone presentation. Each class will be approximately (1) hour in length and held at "Roots and Legends' Natural Medicine Clinic.

There will be a fee charged of $11.00 for each class.

NEXT CLASS: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 - PEDIATRIC HERBAL THERAPY. Based on The Book Turtle Tails and Other Tender Mercies. Traditional Chinese Pediatrics.

The study of Chinese medicine is a life-long process. Begin your learning with someone who has extensive experience or add to what you already know. Each different teacher brings their own experience to their teaching. You are invited to participate.

Call the clinic for reservations. Class size is intentionally limited.