Bay View's solar village gains momentum
The City of Milwaukee's idea for an energy efficient development in Bay View has received a surprising seven prospective bids, reports the Department of City Development. The approximately 5.6-acre lot bordered by Bay and Conway Streets and Logan and Lincoln Avenues, that formerly housed the Army Reserve is the largest vacant space in Bay View.
The city asked for bids from developers for single-family, townhouse and multi-family residential units "that positively impact the surrounding neighborhood."
It must produce the same amount of renewable energy as the energy that's consumed on-site. This means development proposals should contain alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, says the DCD.
"This will be the first project of its kind in the nation," said Ald. Tony Zielinski. "It will be a catalyst that significantly spurs similar projects around the country. It is imperative that we move aggressively in this renewable arena so as to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuels and increase job opportunities."
Developers pitching the project include:
- Sherman & Associates from Minneapolis
- HD Development from Milwaukee
- The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee
- Direct Current from Milwaukee
- Traditional Neighborhood Design from North Carolina
- New Land Enterprises from Milwaukee
- Vetter Denk from Milwaukee
New Land has been a major player on the East Side and recently sold off one of its projects because it claimed to be overtaxed in the work of putting its buildings together, especially in rehabbing a former mansion into a 20-story condo complex. Vetter Denk dropped its plans for a building in Bay View after it repeatedly requested city assistance to finish it and it didn't happen. The Housing Authority would likely raise neighborhood objections simply because there would be concern of public housing coming into the area.
Change We Can Get High On: President Barack Obama lived up to one promise right away as a candidate for the White House -- guaranteeing more transparency in government and more involvement from the people. His administration started the Web site change.gov, giving citizens a chance to suggest want they wanted changed in government. The No. 1 request? Legalizing marijuana, according to NPR's "On the Media." It'sdDoubtful the administration will be getting on that bandwagon in the first 100, or even 1,000, days.
Inmate Blues: Inmates at the House of Correction aren't necessarily happy there's a new sheriff in town. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke finally got his wish this year to take over the House after its having been run independently from the sheriff's department for years.
It was considered a cost-saving measure. The sheriff also has taken over the CCC, which houses Huber inmates that can leave during the day or night for the purposes of work. Clarke now houses some Huber inmates at the House, making it rather difficult for them to get to a job since the House is in Franklin; out in the middle of nowhere in terms of mass transit.
Clarke has also banned any exercise activity in the dorms and has taken away recreation privileges, as well. And inmates are also finding less food -- and no dessert -- on their plates as Clarke has ordered food portions reduced, too.
Green Roofing: After getting burned on a roof job 20 years ago the city's Central Library is going green and hoping to get some help in paying for it. The Downtown library was re-roofed in 1986 and began leaking eight to 10 years ago, but the roofer had since gone out of business. Repairs have been needed every four to five years, according to a city report.
In 2004, a consultant advised to redo the entire roof. So the library is asking for a green roof, which would reduce stormwater runoff as well as energy consumption. Green roofs also protect underlying roof materials, which can double the life of a roof.
The cost is expected to be about $1.2 million and the city is asking the Metropolitan Sewerage District for a $250,000 grant from the MMSD Stormwater Best Management Practices Partnership.
Selling the White House Porn: The Whitehouse.com Web site -- for years having confused surfers since the site is a porn site and not the official White House Web site -- is going out of business. Its owner claims to have found some conscious. Daniel Parisi, who started the Web site in 1997, says he's worried what his preschool son would think, so he's selling the address.
It's likely he's also trying to get a few bucks as well. Parisi also holds 100 variations of Whitehouse.com. He says the site makes about $1 million a year and has more than two million visitors a month. Whitehouse.gov is the official Web location of the White House.
Macy's Mangles Staff: Macy's is laying off 30 workers at its Mayfair Mall store. Some of those cut include the telephone operators who direct customer calls to the right departments. According to employees, the phone system will now be automated, forcing prospective customers to find their own extensions. Remaining workers must now answer phones and re-direct errant calls back to the automatron operation. It ultimately means less customer service and frustrated customers who could get turned off enough to shop elsewhere.
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