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A community joined in hurt, hope and prayer.
A community joined in hurt, hope and prayer. (Photo: Jabril Faraj/Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service)

Former Milwaukeean details "The Milwaukee you don't know" on CNN

"But here's the thing: I am not sorry for being born and raised in Milwaukee. Milwaukee made me. For every person who tried to cut me down, there were countless more to build me up, from teachers, neighbors and a host of loving family members. I developed layers of thick skin there, cultivated an open mind, a loving heart, work ethic and above all, loyalty – even if to a fault."

The above is from this captivating CNN piece from Milwaukee native Sarah Hoye. 

She continues, later in the story: 

"Maybe I should have a chip on my shoulder; maybe I should be angry, bitter even. But I'm not. I was born without hate, was taught not to hate, and will die without hate in my heart.

I truly believe, as idealistic as it may sound, that there is hope for a city in pain, and hope for a way forward.

Milwaukee is hurting and has been for some time.

The question is: What will the city and its resilient residents do to heal?"

That question, Sarah, is one we all are discussing, dissecting and developing relationships and solutions around.

Thank you for your insight, passion and hope.

Tony Robbins' new film is worth the watch on Netflix.
Tony Robbins' new film is worth the watch on Netflix. (Photo:

He's "not your guru," but he's well worth your time

You’ll be skeptical. We all are. Yet we all need improvement. Lord knows I do. 

You’ll probably go into it already having an opinion about "self help" books and movies. You’ll mock it and him, I’m sure. And, yes, you will be disappointed if you want compelling journalistic insight into Tony Robbins’ personal life or peers in his industry. 

But who cares?

You will be highly entertained and enlightened by the new Netflix documentary about Tony Robbins’ "Date with Destiny" seminars. Titled "Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru," it’s an amazing look at the motivational speaker and his team as they hold one of his marquee events in Boca Raton, Fla.  

Directed by Joe Berlinger – who produced great documentaries on Metallica, the infamous gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, Paul Simon’s "Graceland" album and others – the new Netflix film lets you get out of it what you want while telling riveting stories about many of the event attendees and also offering insight into how Robbins’ seminars are produced and managed.   

During the event, in case you didn’t know, Robbins encourages attendees to confront their various issues and take charge of their lives. The doc and Robbins’ teachings, of course, work because we all have something that can be changed in our lives. 

If you’re a "self-help" skeptic, you’ll probably think it watches like a hyped-up infomercial.  That’s your choice. I’ve always been a fan of Robbins’ and a consumer of his messages for 20-plus years. His "Unlimited Power" is one of the better books on the subject, and I’ve seen him live twice, so I can more than vouch for his presence, capacity to inspire and real motivation to help others lead more full, actualized lives. I take nuggets from him daily via his books and Twitter and access his content via his app regularly.

I need constant reminders of how to live and in my own ways am always looking to improve. Thus, I loved this film and highly recommend it. 


Northwestern Mutual continues to rise here in Milwaukee and across the country. Its annual convention opens this week.
Northwestern Mutual continues to rise here in Milwaukee and across the country. Its annual convention opens this week.

Welcome, Northwestern Mutual

We trumpet Harley-Davison's anniversaries, as we should.  But, Northwestern Mutual has a track record that goes back 159 years in Milwaukee.  Yep, next year marks 160! 

Today the company is a worldwide brand and this week it opens its annual "Meeting of the Association of Agents."

That's right, 159 years in business and 136 years of annual meetings. Indeed, Northwestern Mutual will hold its 136th Annual Meeting of the Association of Network Representatives in Milwaukee, July 23-27. 

The event should draw nearly 10,000 people from across the country, comprising members of Northwestern Mutual and their families. The company’s annual meeting will have an estimated economic impact of approximately $12.9 million for the local economy and guests will fill about 13,800 hotel room nights.   

New this year, and to help welcome the NM family from all over the country, VISIT Milwaukee will move its new interactive art piece, the six-foot "Me in MKE" statue, to the outside front entrance of the Wisconsin Center on 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

The statue invites visitors to stand in and form the letter "K" and is part of a new hands-on component to help increase engagement and awareness of VISIT Milwaukee's mission to both locals and visitors. Lines could be seen for the photo op with the statue at Summerfest, with users tagging their photos with the hashtag #MeInMKE.

"We are thrilled to welcome Northwestern Mutual back to Milwaukee once again," said Paul Upchurch, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. "Northwestern Mutual represents the largest convention of our year and has a tremendous impact on our area's economy. We look forward to welcoming the thousands of attendees to Milwaukee and creating great experiences for them while they're here."

Agents and their families flock to Milwaukee every year, and each year I love the buzz that's created by adding nearly 10,000 visitors to Downtown Milwaukee.

As part of the annual meeting, some agent offices are rais…

A trail of bagels on Mason Street in Downtown Milwaukee on July 14 at 7:45 a.m.
A trail of bagels on Mason Street in Downtown Milwaukee on July 14 at 7:45 a.m. (Photo: Staff Writers)

Downtown's trails of bagels bewilder

Is it a creative, artistic expression?

An innovative way to feed the seagulls?

Maybe even a small way to assist those who are hungry?

Heck, maybe it’s just littering. Simply garbage and an easy, lazy way to discard last night’s bakery?

No matter what, Downtown Milwaukee has a steady stream of bagel and breadcrumb drops. Several residents in the neighborhood tell me that streets and bridges are regularly laced with bakery items several times a week. And it’s been happening for months.

One resident told me that the trails of bagels "go in spurts." Sometimes every other day, then nothing for a couple weeks.

Bread or bagels often line Mason Street, the Wisconsin Avenue bridge, the Wells Street bridge and many parts of the Riverwalk.

"They always look fresh," added the resident who didn't want to be named.

What’s up with this, Milwaukee? Is it a coordinated, ongoing effort?

Curious minds want to know.