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Growing "pains"

Last Saturday, I woke up to a not-so-pleasant surprise.

As I ran out the door to my 8 a.m. Boot Camp class, I tripped over a pile of garbage, and nearly went sneaker over baseball cap onto the concrete.

Don't get me wrong; as an East Sider, I'm used to the weekend game of dodging empty beer bottles, half-eaten Jimmy John's sandwiches and red plastic cups adorned with markered names like "Amber" (with a smiley face.)

But there were two things that made this morning different.

First, in addition to the usual scattering of trash, there was a bigger, more angering surprise: Not only were all six of our garbage cans knocked over, but so were most of the other cans in a 4-block radius.

Second, for the first time since moving into my condo, I questioned whether I really wanted to be an East Sider anymore.

Worse yet, the people who were making me contemplate leaving my home and favorite part of the city are people who don't own homes or condos on the East Side, have no real vested interest in the community and pass in and out of our lives in four years: UW-Milwaukee students.

Last Monday, an open meeting was held at UWM's student onion with UW Regents to discuss possible changes to the UW System's off-campus code of conduct.

The time, 4-6 p.m., was, as most UWM-related meetings are, set for the leisure of the students, not the residents whose normal work day doesn't end until 5 p.m.

Since I was held up at work, my husband attended the meeting. By the time he arrived it was nearly 6 p.m., but the generous community turnout proved how important this issue is to East Side residents.

In a statement e-mailed by Ald. Michael D'Amato asking residents to attend the meeting, he said: "Every Autumn and Spring my office, the Milwaukee Police, and other city staff spend hundreds of hours and thousands of your tax dollars in an attempt to control unruly student behavior. We cannot continue to fight this losing battle without strong…