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Tech hosts an open house on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. Go and see for yourself.
Tech hosts an open house on Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. Go and see for yourself.

MPS' Bradley Tech opens doors to show positive developments

While it’s true that Bradley Tech High School, 700 S. 4th St., in Walker’s Point has been in the news for the wrong reasons in recent years, there have also been many positive developments there, only some of which have made headlines (very, very small headlines, typically, because, sadly, school success doesn’t sell), including a team of students that built motorcycles last spring, life mentoring programs with area professionals, an aquaponics program and more.

Much of the good news has followed the district’s partnership with MATC, UWM and MSOE to give the school a boost, with new recruitment strategies, improved links with local higher education programs, more classes that provide college credits, better ties to the community and more.

A friend of mine teaches at the school now and sent me this message recently:

"I am at Bradley Tech full-time and the energy has changed and become much more positive this year. Teachers are feeling like Tech is back! We have partnerships with MATC and MSOE, along with many other tech-related organizations.

Our students are now wearing uniforms which are purple polos and khaki pants. We (want) to encourage people to come out and see our program during our open house."

The event, which is free and open to all, takes place Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. There, you’ll be able to tour shops and classrooms for carpentry, graphic arts, mobile app and website design, welding, mechanical drafting and more.

There will be student awards presented by alumni and Tech business advisors from the community. You’ll also be able to hear more about career pathways from partners at UWM and MATC.

You can believe the selective news reports or you can go inside and see for yourself.

If you’re going, please take a moment to RSVP to Tech and Trade Liaison Scott Sommer at But if you forget, I bet they’ll still be happy to see you on Tuesday.

Kneisler's White House has been a fixture where KK bends to the right, at Ellen Street, since 1891.
Kneisler's White House has been a fixture where KK bends to the right, at Ellen Street, since 1891.

White House celebrates 125 years as a Bay View landmark

A lot has changed in Milwaukee over the years, and especially lately a lot has changed in Bay View. But one thing that’s remained constant for 125 years is the white clapboard tavern on the corner of Ellen Street, where Kinnickinnic Avenue bends off to the right.

One of the oldest watering holes in the city, the White House, 2900 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is celebrating its 125th birthday on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1 and 2 with a weekend of drink specials, games, raffles, food and more, as well as a food drive to benefit Hunger Task Force (an annual birthday tradition at the bar).

William Kneisler built the tavern with a loan from the Schlitz Brewing Company, making the tavern a Schlitz tied house, meaning it sold only that brewery’s products when it opened in 1891.

Like many taverns, the White House quickly became a neighborhood gathering place, one where election results were waited out, one where mail was stored for neighbors, one that rented rooms out to residents and one that, of course, sold beer by the bucket to hard-working Milwaukeeans.

"Kneisler paid this loan off pretty quick, and was no longer beholden to selling only Schlitz beer, after only a few years," says bar manager Matthew Langoehr. "In some of the old photos however, you can see the classic Schlitz palm tree and Schlitz logo."

The White House remains a neighborhood magnet, even now with so much competition in the neighborhood. It’s a place for volleyball, a place to plug the jukebox, a place to play some board games with friends, a place to buy your mug and store it up on the shelf for your next visit. It’s a beloved, neighborhood place, and has been for many generations.

"One of the things that sets the Historic White House apart from some of these other classic taverns is, it has always been a tavern," says Langoehr. "Some have started as boarding houses, union halls, etc., but William Kneisler built the tavern in 1890, as what it still stands as today.

"Even during prohibition,…

The competition and the judges.
The competition and the judges.

Cute overload: Rogers St. Academy kids judge mascots' ballet auditions

Yesterday morning, a group of kindergarteners from Milwaukee Public Schools' Rogers Street Academy visited BMO Harris Bank, 770 N. Water St., to judge auditions by local sports mascots for roles in the upcoming production of Milwaukee Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

The judging, photos of which you can see below in an example of cuteness overload, coincided with the Milwaukee Ballet's three-day ticket sale for "The Nutcracker." During this promotion, tickets are buy one, get one at half price.

Rogers Street Academy, 2430 W. Rogers St., offers mono- and bilingual curricula to about 700 students from K4 through eighth grade on Milwaukee's South Side.

The auditions were led by Milwaukee Ballet Artistic Director Michael Pink, with a little help from Jud Snyder (pictured with the kids below), who is president of BMO Harris Equipment Finance Company and also president of the Milwaukee Ballet board.

The competitors in this surely tight race were the Brewers' costumed Hank, the Bucks' Bango and Roscoe, representing the Milwaukee Admirals, and BMO Harris' own Hubert.

For their audition, the mascots had to perform a brief bit of Tchaikovsky’s "Russian Dance (Trepak)" from "The Nutcracker."

After picking their favorite – Bango was the winner and will have a walk-in role in "The Nutcracker" this year with the Ballet – the kids received a gift as a token of appreciation for their work.

But judging by the photos, the real stars were the adorable tots from Rogers Street Academy:

Public Enemy on stage at Red Dot Tosa on Friday night.
Public Enemy on stage at Red Dot Tosa on Friday night.

Public Enemy and Run-DMC in Tosa ... wait, what?

This past weekend, Tosa resident Anthony Lampasona staged a huge party at Red Dot on North Avenue in East Tosa with Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Rakim, EPMD and others.

Some nights you're hanging out watching your kids do gymnastics and packing for a weekend camping trip, and 20 minutes later, you're rocking to Run-DMC at a tiny venue a few blocks from home.

That's what happened to me Friday night when I saw fellow drummer Mikal Phillips post a Facebook Live of Run-DMC on stage at Red Dot. A few minutes later, I was on the sidewalk enjoying the music and occasionally catching a glimpse of the performers through the big open windows.

Phillips spotted me on the sidewalk and we chatted. And then I ran into more friends. And then more friends saw my posts on social media about it and they showed up. And then another longtime friend – a co-owner of Red Dot – brought me a pass to get inside. Suddenly it felt as much like my party as Lampasona's.

The event was a follow-up to a similar one Lampasona – who is the president and COO of Landmark Healthcare Facilities – staged at Red Dot with Public Enemy last year.

Held on the same weekend as Tosa Fest was taking place down in the Village, Lampasona's party felt like the real Tosa fest. And though it was packed, there seemed to be nothing but good vibes. Folks on the sidewalk took turns standing on chairs to see the action inside, with nary a thrown elbow.

Inside, the party was packed, but folks ran to open the door for people carrying drinks and there was nearly as much high-fiving as there was selfie-snapping. And by the time Public Enemy was into its surprisingly long set, doormen weren't even checking for passes anymore.

It was a really good time. I didn't make it over on Saturday to see Rakim, who is perhaps my favorite hip-hop MC ever – there was that camping trip, remember?

Thanks to Lampasona for sharing the love with his neighborhood.

Read Piet Levy's story about it here.

Here are some im…