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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, April 18, 2014

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Wilson von Bohlen was the star of Sunday's Brewers game.
Wilson von Bohlen was the star of Sunday's Brewers game. (Photo: Davey von Bohlen)

Davey's dancing boy provides only relief at Miller Park on Sunday

If you were at Sunday's game at Miller Park in which the Brewers scored 10 runs and STILL managed to lose to the Nationals, 11-10, in 11 innings, the highlight for you just might have been the kid dancing on the Jumbotron in the late innings.

It was for me, and for thousands of other fans.

Turns out that kid is Wilson von Bohlen, son of Maritime and The Promise Ring front man Davey von Bohlen.

When tweets of photos and videos of Wilson began flooding Twitter, Davey (@daveyvonbohlen) quickly – and rightfully – claimed credit as the proud papa of the boy who was just about the only ray of sunshine in a grim Brewers loss.

Von Bohlen tweeted that the Brewers graciously presented Wilson with an autographed baseball for his fancy footwork.

Here's video of the dance as tweeted by @ScottMilfred:

MPS' mommunications director Roseann St. Aubin retires tomorrow from the post she's held for 9 years.
MPS' mommunications director Roseann St. Aubin retires tomorrow from the post she's held for 9 years.

Fare thee well, Roseann

As Milwaukee Public Schools' communications director Roseann St. Aubin announces her departure, we offer a fond farewell.

Like most of you, I first "met" St. Aubin when she was a local broadcast news personality. After stints in the Department of City Development and working for then-Mayor John Norquist, St. Aubin moved to MPS, where she's been for nearly a decade now.

"Our time together was marked with many snowy mornings, many long nights at Board meetings, hundreds of school events and countless student interviews," said St. Aubin in a statement.

"I'm excited for the change in my life, but I will deeply miss the MPS administration team, especially Superintendent Gregory Thornton. It has been a pleasure to serve in support of a leader so deeply committed to making good things happen for Milwaukee children and their families."

I first met St. Aubin in person at MPS and I will miss talking to her and seeing her on a regular basis. She's always been fair, open and friendly to me and has always been not only willing, but eager to explain complex issues and to connect me with folks in the district who could be of assistance in writing about MPS.

She's been encouraging – and sometimes downright enthusiastic, too – as I've been writing a book about Milwaukee schoolhouses.

St. Aubin's been talking of retiring for a while, but, still, I was a little surprised when I heard her retirement was now imminent. Her last day in the office will be tomorrow, July 27.

Denise Callaway will move into St. Aubin's position on an interim basis.

Good luck to her. We'll miss you, Roseann.

Milwaukee summer and Milwaukee sangria: a match made in ... Bay View.
Milwaukee summer and Milwaukee sangria: a match made in ... Bay View.

Milwaukee's own sangria

The temperatures lately might have us feeling a bit like we're on the Spanish riviera these days. Pop open a bottle of Wisconsin-made Lovino Sangria and you'll really be transported to the Iberian summertime.

Lovino, headquartered in Bay View, was founded by Jamie and Erica Zdroik and their ready-to-drink Sangria – available in 750 ml bottles at more than 80 Roundy's locations already – is produced at an "environmentally friendly" winery in Algoma.

"We've been mixing sangria for family and friends for years," says Erica. "After developing this recipe, we were often told we should find a way to bottle and sell our blend. Sangria by Lovino is the result of those suggestions."

The Zdroik's say their current jobs have helped them navigate the trail of production plans, government approvals, distribution and finances of creating Lovino.

Erica is a food resource manager at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and her husband Jamie is a manufacturing manager at Nelson Container in Germantown.

In case you're wondering, the name Lovino is a smashing together of the words "love" and the Italian word for wine, "vino."

I'm going home to drink some tonight. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll find out tomorrow what I thought.

Well-known Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini stopped in Milwaukee and was impressed.
Well-known Italian journalist Beppe Severgnini stopped in Milwaukee and was impressed.

Milwaukee, through the eyes of an Italian journalist

Although he's published books in the U.S. and has spent a lot of time here, Beppe Severgnini isn't a household name on our shores. He is, however, a journalism superstar in Italy.

So, I was interested to hear that Severgnini wrote an article that ran a few days ago in Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper about a June train trek from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Ore.

It seems Severgnini (and his traveling partner Karl Hoffmann) stepped off the Amtrak in Milwaukee and had a look around.

"I'm seeing Milwaukee after almost 20 years," he writes. "Then, it was a working-class city changing its skin. Today, it is a well-to-do place, cleaned up, with a green and welcoming lakefront. The train station is luminous and modern; the renovations impeccable; there is even a museum by architect (Santiago) Calatrava that closes its wings – literally – at 5 p.m.

"The city – 600,000 inhabitants, (and) that many more in the metropolitan area – is home to Harley-Davidson and Miller beer. I climb onto the seat of the first and drink the second, to the health of the Midwest: an America without adjectives, and I won't add any, either.

"At the Italian Community Center – the most extensive in the USA, they tell us – there is a meeting in progress, discussing Festa Italiana: only one person present speaks Italian: Mario Carini, historian of the club, Sicilian origins, strong emotions. We ask about the coming election and get evasive responses. Only when the discussion turns to Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who survived a recall, does someone become explicit: his wife is Italian and he's a member (of the ICC). Walker doesn't love trains. He refused $810 million destined for Wisconsin for high speed trains. He's content."

Severgnini also shot video here (Rocky Marcoux makes a cameo, and so does the exterior of Groppi's) and you can watch "Amtraked: Where the Blues Brothers Flew" here.

Best of all? For the first time in years, an Italian has talked about Milwaukee without ut…

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