Sign in | Register now | Like us on FacebookLike Us | Follow us on TwitterFollow Us

Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wed
Hi: 47
Lo: 38
Thu
Hi: 52
Lo: 34
Fri
Hi: 44
Lo: 32
Advertise on OnMilwaukee.com
The fish tank at Joey's Seafood and Grill is a major draw for kids.
The fish tank at Joey's Seafood and Grill is a major draw for kids.
Though it welcomes families, Joey's has lots of adults dining without kids, too.
Though it welcomes families, Joey's has lots of adults dining without kids, too.
Joey's suits buoys and gulls of all ages.
Joey's suits buoys and gulls of all ages.

Joey's is a welcoming middle zone that's perfect for family dining

In addition to finding menu options that finicky kid diners will eat (and enjoy), locating a restaurant that suits adults and kids alike isn't always easy.

Most places welcome kids, of course, but parents can usually tell the minute they walk through the door how much stress is on the menu at a restaurant.

After a couple visits we've come to realize that the franchised Joey's Seafood and Grill (born in Canada in 1985) on the northeast tip of Brookfield, 12455 W. Capitol Dr. can be that go-to place for families when parents don't want to eat fast food or at a diner but, at the same time, know that their kids aren't quite ready for Eddie Martini's.

Another great go-to place for us is Maxie's, but it can sometimes get super busy, which can be a problem with little ones.

Joey's plates up a really good fish fry, fish tacos and even a gator po boy, among many other dishes, including a range of daily specials that can be a good value. There's also a kids menu with good options.

Our first visit, months ago, was at lunch. Joey's was doing a decent business, but it wasn't crowded and we weren't the only family there. The kids loved looking at the giant fish tank just inside the door.

We returned last night for another visit, this time for dinner, and we had an ace server who knew just how to keep everyone at the table occupied and satisfied. And, once again, we were just one of a number of families dining with small children.

Seeing the kids' fascination with the creatures in the tank, our server seated us directly behind it so the kids could marvel at it, while we perused the menu and ordered.

Small containers of Goldfish crackers awaited the kids at the table and were a godsend (we decided on dinner at the last minute and so couldn't do our usual pre-restaurant prep).

The $3.99 kids meals – fried fish, chicken fingers, mac 'n' cheese, quesadilla, etc. – come with a side. We choose a mac 'n' cheese with orange slices and a quesadilla with fries.

When one didn't…

Read more...
The new $3.5 million Doerr Family NICU is the first all-private room NICU in southeastern Wisconsin.
The new $3.5 million Doerr Family NICU is the first all-private room NICU in southeastern Wisconsin.

An improved environment for families under stress

The other day I got a press release about a renovation at Columbia St. Mary's, which, admittedly, doesn't usually fall into my areas of interest or expertise here at OnMilwaukee.com.

But, I had the displeasure of spending a few days at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital a few years ago. I says displeasure not as a reflection on the hospital. It's just automatically displeasurable to be in the NICU, unless, perhaps, you work there.

Families are hurting when their newborns have to spend any time at all in an isolette. The reasons are plentiful and obvious. Add in that they must tend to their stress and emotional strain with very little privacy and it doesn't make it any easier.

So, when I saw the press release and the photos of CSM's newly opened Doerr Family Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), it struck a chord.

The new $3.5 million Doerr Family NICU is the first all-private room NICU in southeastern Wisconsin.

"This new model of care is proven to improve health and reduce the number of days spent in the hospital for premature infants, all while increasing family satisfaction," said Dr. John Wolf, neonatologist and medical director of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, in the release.

"The all-private room NICU will reduce the risk of infection, reduce stress through noise and light control and provide more privacy for patients and their families."

The reduced risk of infection is big for the infant. The chance to have a little alone time – despite the darned isolette – with their newborn baby will be indescribably important to the parents.

This is one improvement I hope all hospitals can someday offer to every family that has the displeasure of spending time in a NICU.

Even before the site has been created, the Catalyst solved a problem at one MPS school.
Even before the site has been created, the Catalyst solved a problem at one MPS school.
The team got started by putting its thoughts down on a white board.
The team got started by putting its thoughts down on a white board.

94labs team working to make Classroom Catalyst a reality

By now you may have heard of the Milwaukee Public Schools and OnMilwaukee.com partnership to create the Milwaukee Classroom Catalyst.

The site (you can see a quick explanation at this promo page) will allow schools to post their needs – be it time, labor, supplies, talent, etc. – so that individuals, community groups, businesses and even other schools can lend a hand to local public schools, even in the smallest ways.

The project was born out of brainstorming sessions with Milwaukee School Board Director Meagan Holman. Even before the site was created, the partnership solved a problem at Tippecanoe-Dover in Bay View.

A class held in a lab at the school – which was created at a new site (formerly a middle school) from two separate programs this year – couldn't get seats appropriate for its tall work stations.

After contacting a number of local restaurateurs, the Lowlands Group offered to donate 16 stools with backs to the school. Now, the kids can sit comfortably and Lowlands has a little extra storage space at Trocadero. Everybody wins.

This week, thanks to the 94labs Social Cause Hackathon taking place at Marquette University, a team is working hard to create that Catalyst web site and infuse it with all of the features required to make the partnership a success.

"The goal of the 94labs Social Cause Hackathon is to bring together aspiring entrepreneurs, business students, designers and developers to build applications for the sponsoring non-profit agencies," says the 94labs web site.

"The objective for the teams will be to create an application that will help the agencies raise awareness, increase donations or improve their current web functionality and efficiency."

Top prize is $5,000, second place gets $3,000, third earns $1,000 and there are two $500 prizes, too.

The team working on the Catalyst – other teams are tackling projects for The Salvation Army and three other non-profits – includes Marquette student Becca Osmolski, computer consul…

Read more...
Wassup is that Westside Academy, where these girls attend, and nine other MPS schools are getting new web sites this week.
Wassup is that Westside Academy, where these girls attend, and nine other MPS schools are getting new web sites this week. (Photo: Milwaukee Public Schools)

MPS starts rolling out new school web sites

Thanks to Amy Kant, Milwaukee Public Schools is beginning to get its interwebs in order.

Next week, the district will officially launch the first fruits of her labor to create web sites for all of the nearly 180 MPS schools.

Kant, who started on Vliet Street a couple months ago, got going with 10 schools – Academy of Accelerated Learning, Hawley, Obama, Browning, Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, Gwen T. Jackson, Lloyd Barbee Montessori, Morgandale, Garland and Westside Academy.

Last year community members, including this one, were invited to take part in the district's marketing think tank, on a volunteer basis, which met monthly to talk about MPS' communication with the community, its image and brand, use of social media, the web and more.

The hard-working Molly Quirk then prepared a report on the think tank's discussions and findings and part of that was the improvement of the district's vast array of web sites.

In addition to school pages on the district portal, like this one, most schools also had a self-created web site like this one. Most were basic, not especially attractive, and because they seemed rarely updated, they weren't especially useful, either.

Kant's job is to help rectify the situation and she's using WordPress sites and StudioPress software to move forward.

Here is one of the sites from the first batch to be completed. They are being presented to schools tomorrow.