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MPS hosts its annual enrollment fair this weekend at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.
MPS hosts its annual enrollment fair this weekend at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.

MPS enrollment fair highlights programs ... but don't neglect the school visit

OK, maybe it’s just because I love visiting schools, but I always tell prospective parents to go to a school that interests them as a potential option for their children. Sure, read Great Schools’ ratings, talk to other parents, Google the school, but if you’re going to do one thing only: go to the school.

Go unannounced. Talk to the principal. Watch some classrooms in action. What’s the school sound like? What does it look like? Is it quietly buzzing along? Are kids and teachers engaged in work or are they staring out the window? Or, are they fighting? Is there art hanging on the wall? Is it a pleasant place?

You can – and should – look at test scores and data about suspensions, etc., but there is absolutely no other way to get a feel for a school. You have to go. And go more than once, if you can. Bring your child.

But, not sure which school or schools to check out? Then, perhaps, the first step is to visit the MPS All-School Enrollment Fair on Saturday, Jan. 31 at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, 2300 W. Highland Blvd.

"The All-School Enrollment Fair is an incredible opportunity for families to meet the people who are leading the charge for improvement throughout our schools, find the school that fits their child and get set for the coming school year," said MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver in a statement.

Leaders from more than 100 elementary, middle and high schools will be on hand to pitch their programs to parents, who can enroll on the spot. (If you’re looking to enroll on the spot, visit some of the schools in advance.)

You’ll hear information about bilingual schools, arts programs, Advanced Placement classes, International Baccalaureate college prep programs, language immersion schools, Montessori schools, Career and Tech Ed programs, Gifted and Talented education, STEM and more at the fair, which takes place from 9 a.m. until noon.

Childcare and Spanish and Hmong translation assistants will be on hand and you can even hop fr…

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Faust closed after its owner Bill Regalado died in October 2013.
Faust closed after its owner Bill Regalado died in October 2013.

Meeting set to discuss plan to develop Faust Drum Center site in Bay View

When Bill Regalado – better known to Bay Viewers and Milwaukee musicians as Bill Faust – died in October 2013, the city lost a pretty legendary character, and Bay View lost a long-lived institution – Faust Drum Center, 2204 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

In the year or so since, talk has turned to the future of the building and site Faust occupied until Regalado's passing. It didn't take long for developers to take notice of the property.

What's on the table now, according to a Facebook post by district Ald. Tony Zielinski, is a five-story, 100,000-square foot building with 72 apartments, about 2,500 square feet of retail and about 75 enclosed parking spaces.

The nearly $10 million project includes, according to Zielinski's post, "four stories of Type VA construction over one story of Type IA construction above grade, and one story of Type IA cast in place concrete construction below grade."

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The apartments range in size from micro (about 400 square feet) to studio to one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The developer – Dermond Property Investments LLC – is also seeking to acquire a municipal parking lot adjacent to the Faust building.

The saddest part for me is the loss of the two 19th century storefronts – one dated 1892 – that are part of a block-long stretch of KK that retains its old world feel on both sides of the street. In a perfect world, I'd love to see them cleaned up and repurposed rather than replaced.

While I don't oppose modern development in the neighborhood, I'm disappointed it has to happen on a site occupied by structures like these. At the same time, the buildings already looked to be in rough shape when I first bought drums from Regalado in the mid-'80s, so who knows what the intervening 30 years have wrought.

If you want to hear more about Dermond Property Investments’ plan and weigh in on it, Zielinski hosts a town hall meeting on the proposed development on Tuesday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m.…

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Paulie's wings ... as good as promised.
Paulie's wings ... as good as promised.

Combining a pair of Milwaukee traditions at Paulie's

Driving down Greenfield Avenue last week I spied the sign outside Paulie's Pub and Eatery, 8031 W. Greenfield Ave., in West Allis, and was reminded that trying the wings there was on my Milwaukee to-do list.

Despite that salad in the fridge back at the office, I called an audible and pulled into the parking lot. Only when I sat down did I realize that it was Friday, which, of course, means fish fry.

What to do?

Well, improvise!

I ordered wings and house-made potato pancakes, because great potato pancakes are really the highlight of a fish fry, if you ask me.

For $2, I got two pancakes made with shredded potatoes and not much else but a dash of salt and pepper. I chose apple sauce over syrup. And the results again proved the old adage that less is more.

Nicely browned and with the tiniest hint of crunch, Paulie's makes some of the latkes in town (though I might've liked a bit more crispness around the edges, but now I'm picking nits).

For $9.49, Paulie's plates 10 wings with the sauce (or no sauce) of your choice and a range of options (grilled, etc.). There are nearly a dozen sauces ranging in heat quotient and I aimed to try a couple, only to learn you can only choose one sauce per order, unless you want to pay extra for a side of sauce.

Though that was a disappointment – variety being the spice of life, and all – the Legend Larry bacon BBQ slathered wings were anything but.

While a couple were on the lean side, most of the drummies and paddles were super meaty and tender and the sauce – which approaches medium on the Paulie's scale – had just the right amount of heat for me – a hint, but not too much.

Blue cheese and celery were on the side.

Maybe the one-sauce-per-order plan at Paulie's is clever, because now I have to keep going back to try more.

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Peg Bradley in her apartment at the Milwaukee Art Museum in the 1970s.
Peg Bradley in her apartment at the Milwaukee Art Museum in the 1970s.

When MAM remodel is complete, a quiet piece of history will be harder to spot

When the Milwaukee Art Museum reopens its reinstalled collection in revamped galleries something will be missing, but many won’t likely even notice. What have been called the "Bradley Rooms" or the "Bradley apartment" will have vanished. The area will be transformed into gallery space for part of the Bradley Collection.

Photo: John Glembin

Bradley’s mark on the museum, of course, will not go away. The incredible collection she donated (along with seed money to construct the Kahler building to house them) remains a major Milwaukee arts patrimony.

The collection contains more than 600 works, including examples by Milton Avery, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas, Raoul Dufy, Alberto Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Fernand LĂ©ger, Joan Miro, Edvard Munch, Gabriele Munter, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mark Rothko, Alfred Stieglitz, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Andy Warhol and many others.

Photo: John Glembin

Bradley, of course, left her imprint all over the arts in this town. As one newspaper article noted in 1985, "Bradley was such a leading supporter of the arts in Milwaukee that when she died in 1978, arts organization administrators expressed worry about the future of their organizations."

Part of the construction of that east wing in the mid-’70s included an apartment with a stellar view of the lake, a kitchen, dining room and other spaces, where Bradley could entertain guests, host parties and, presumably, get away from it all, too.

Photo: John Glembin

The concept is not unprecedented here and beyond. Benefactor and art collector Eckhardt Grohmann has his own private office nestled within the eponymous museum he gifted to MSOE a number of years back, too.

Photo: John Glembin

Early on, the rooms were solely for Bradley’s private use and after her death they were rarely opened. It is here, I still recall, that I first saw the working model for the Calatrava addition in the 1990s.

In 2006, on t…

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