I love it when some big-time out-of-state newspaper or magazine discovers Milwaukee and writes a flattering article about my city. It makes me swell with pride and say that I just wish everybody knew about this.
The opposite is true, of course, when an out-of-city media outlet finds a part of our less-than-savory underbelly and exposes it to the light.
Such is the case last week with the Chicago Tribune which carried a front-page online and print story about the cover-up of sexual assault allegations by athletes at Marquette University.
This is a story from last year, but the reverberations are pretty clearly still in play today. The new president of the university, Father Scott Pilarz, has recently written about the way the university deals with accusations of sexual assault.
Although everybody is going to pains to hide identities of everyone involved, it's common knowledge on the campus who the victims were and that the alleged assaulters were members of the basketball team.
The Tribune reports that there are accusations of a cover-up and of meetings designed to get the athletes' stories all on the same page. There is also speculation that the coaching staff was involved in this sorry mess.
Anybody who's ever been around high-level athletics has seen this kind of thing before. First you find out something happened and then, usually with the coach leading the way, the wagons begin to circle and you hope the whole thing will soon go away.
As we have seen forever, often the cover-up is what gets you in real trouble, not the original act.
I'm not saying that Marquette, or coach Buzz Williams, will be in trouble over this. But I do find it curious that a Chicago newspaper makes such a big deal about it while the local newspaper has all but ignored the whole thing.
If I worked in the newsroom at WTMJ-TV, I would be ashamed to show my face in public after the new stunt the station has created to get more viewers.
The ratings period starts Thursday and the station is going to give away an iPad every night of the ratings period. All you have to do is "like" the station's Facebook page and then watch the news at 10 when John Malan will announce the winner.
I don't care how they try to spin this. It's just as bad as the horror-filled greed of Oprah giving away hundreds of cars and as transparently absurd as Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew or Dr. Nancy or someone pretending to heal fake patients.
I was watching last night when Mike Jacobs, a guy who I respect, held up an iPad while announcing this contest. His hand moved gently around the iPad.
The next anchors at WTMJ will probably be Vanna White and one of those models on the 'The Price Is Right" who show off the prizes.
The only reason to do this is to lure more viewers to the station. I guess there's nothing wrong with that. I mean it's a business, right?
But it seems like car dealers who offer gifts for taking a test ride. "Try our car and get two tickets to the Dells, or breakfast for two at Denny's or a free tank of gas."
The problem is that the news shows are not cars. I think the reason someone ought to watch a particular news program is that the viewer has faith in the honesty and integrity of the station's news operation. The viewer believes that they are going to actually get some "news."
Generally speaking those days are long gone. The only station in town that even comes close to doing real news is Channel 12. Channel 6 comes close. But Channel 4 is the news leader, so that shows what I know.
I realize that I may be old fashioned here, but sometimes the old fashioned things were just fine. I think the crap we are generally fed on local news is a gigantic waste of our time.
I know and like a lot of people at Channel 4. The big boss, Steve Wexler, is a friend and a guy w…
To prove that "never the twain shall meet" is wrong, just take a morning trip to Playshore, the free kids' play area in Bayshore Town Center.
It's a gathering place for grandparents, like me, and for young parents, all with kids from about two to five years old.
In a day and age where kid play centers seem to need huge climbing tubes and a million plastic balls and games that go whiz and whee and lights that flash in multi-color bursts, Playshore is like a throwback.
It has a boat and a bridge, a train and a huge half baseball that kids can climb on. It has artificial turf that kids can run on and fall down and pretend they have just scored a touchdown for the Packers.
None of the things move. They are made for climbing. Nothing is too high that you need to worry or be afraid. Sure, you've got to watch your kid, and all the other kids. But there's no fear or anxiety.
Kids play with other kids who they've never met. And the adults, both the young mothers and the grandparents, say hello and talk with each other. One morning I met and talked with a young mother from Russia who had just moved to Milwaukee a month earlier. She said she was having trouble meeting people who weren't from Russia.
Another woman sitting next to us overheard and introduced herself. It turned out they lived less than a mile from each other. When I left a new friendship seemed born.
I'm not a huge fan of shopping malls and chain stores, but Playshore is an amazing place as long as you are willing to let your kid go and figure out what kind of playing he or she wants to do.
For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."
Every now and then, if you are lucky, a pleasant and unexpected surprise comes along that makes you smile and pat yourself on the back.
That's the way it was with a weekend pizza.
I'm a pizza traditionalist. When I want some, it's Zaffiro's or Calderone Club or maybe Classic Slice on North Avenue.
But Saturday night brought babysitting for my granddaughter Molly and new grandson Casey. We were on the south side and their parents suggested a pizza place just three blocks away, Pulo's Pizza at 16th and Oklahoma.
Long story short, the pizza was fantastic. Thin crisp crust, fresh ingredients and a nice price. Rarely have I had a pizza to go that was as good as this one.
Pulo's began in 1959 to feed the GI's who had experienced "pinsa" in Italy and who had brought that desire to have more back with them. They've moved a couple of times but seem to have found a comfortable home and it's well worth a try if you are in the neighborhood.