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County Executive Chris Abele released a statement today about the parks' stance on Pokemon Go.
County Executive Chris Abele released a statement today about the parks' stance on Pokemon Go. (Photo: Pokemon Go Facebook)

County Executive Abele releases pun-filled statement on Pokemon Go

This week, news broke that the Milwaukee Parks Department was in a mild turf war with Pokemon Go, sending a letter to Niantic, the company behind the game, about permits for using Lake Park and the rest of the park system. The responses from the Parks Department and the County Executive's office were similar: They like Pokemon Go, and they like people going to our parks, but they'd also appreciate a little more order and responsibility on the company's part for the sake of the parks and surrounding communities. 

Today, County Executive Chris Abele released an additional statement in the hopes of clarifying their stance on Pokemon Go and reasoning behind the original letter. It's fairly identical to what his office and the Parks Department said yesterday – just this time, with an incredible amount of puns. We're talking Gene Shalit levels of punnery coming from the "Milwaukee County Exeggutor."

Here's the statement – titled "We WANT You to Pika-choose Milwaukee County Parks" – and if you want, make it a fun game and take a drink at every Pokemon pun:

"I believe strongly that access to public spaces inspires passion for parks as a part of people’s daily lives, helps promote a strong sense of community, and encourages learning and stewardship. From expanding our beer gardens to bringing futsal to Wisconsin, it’s always been our Instinct to enhance Milwaukee County’s award-winning Parks System and create opportunities to welcome more people to our Parks whenever possible.

"That’s why I was discouraged by recent reports that created some confusion around the County’s position on Pokémon GO.

"We’ve enjoyed watching the Pokémon GO phenomenon take off in our County parks. Pokémon GO has brought thousands of new users into our parks at events like our Poke-nic in Mitchell Park and just by visiting Pokestops all throughout the County.

"While these parks visitors new and old are welcome additions, and most are respectful of our shared public space…

The man catches up with the statue.
The man catches up with the statue. (Photo: Twitter/Henry Winkler)

The Fonz visits The Fonz

Henry "The Fonz" Winkler is in Milwaukee today for tomorrow night's Wisconsin State Fair "Happy Days: Live" main stage show. So what does The Fonz do to kill some time in the city that helped make him famous? We'll give you one guess ...

Obviously (even if you hadn't read the headline or looked at the lead photo). 

Wednesday night's main stage celebration will feature not only Winkler, but also fellow Jefferson High alums Anson "Potsie" Williams and Donny "Ralph" Most live on stage, presenting music, rare photos, clips, never before seen videos, conversation and a Q&A session with the crowd.

The special touring engagement was originally in tribute to the classic sitcom's 40th anniversary, but due to the recent death of "Happy Days" creator Garry Marshall, it's hard to imagine the event tomorrow night not taking on some extra significance and bringing out some extra emotions.

We don't know where else Winkler's heading around town, but we do know he and the rest of the "Happy Days: Live" trio will take the stage tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, The Bronze Fonz will be on the Riverwalk indefinitely. 

"The Land" is one of the eight selections in Milwaukee Film's Black Lens program this year.
"The Land" is one of the eight selections in Milwaukee Film's Black Lens program this year.

Milwaukee Film Festival announces selections for Black Lens lineup

This morning, Milwaukee Film added to the assortment of 16 selections announced last month with the eight movies making up this year's Black Lens program, a category dedicated to African-American filmmakers and stories rooted in the black community and the black experience, but relevant to all. 

The past year has been an eventful one for Milwaukee Film's Black Lens program, as not only did last year's selections draw a total audience of 3,288 – a 96 percent increase from the previous festival – but it also received a $10,000 FilmWatch grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in April.

"In two years, Black Lens has gone from a worthy experiment with ambitious goals to a bona fide attraction at the Milwaukee Film Festival," said Black Lens co-programmer Geraud Blanks, in a statement. "The growth of the program since its inception is a testament to the need for culturally diverse programming in our city. When you consider how segregated Milwaukee is, and then see the diversity of Black Lens audiences, you realize the power of film and, more importantly, the resonance of great storytelling."

"I don't think it's hyperbolic to say that year three for the Black Lens program will be a game-changer," said Black Lens co-programmer Donte McFadden, in a statement. "What also makes year three exciting is the addition of the Black Lens Council, which is designed to provide support directly to the Black Lens Program from new and continuing Milwaukee Film Members."

2016's film festival will also mark the first for a jury prize in the Black Lens program. A $5,000 cash prize will be awarded to the director of the jury-selected winning film – whether feature-length or short, documentary or fiction. 

But, most importantly, here are the movies you'll be queueing up to see come this fall:

"9 Rides"

Shot entirely on an iPhone, "9 Rides" tells the story of an unnamed Uber driver working on New Year's Eve whose assorted rides and interactions throughout the…

"Happy Days" creator Garry Marshal passed away Tuesday.
"Happy Days" creator Garry Marshal passed away Tuesday. (Photo: Mother's Day Movie Facebook)

A goodbye to Garry Marshall

2016 tragically claimed yet another entertainment giant Tuesday, as television and film writer-producer-director Garry Marshall passed away in Burbank, Calif., at the age of 81, following complications of pneumonia following a stroke.

Marshall, however, leaves behind an impressive and iconic television resume – including serving as a writer on several episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as well as helping bring "The Odd Couple" and, of course, the Milwaukee-set hit sitcom "Happy Days" and its several, often equally beloved, spin-offs to life as their creator.

He also made quite an impact on the big screen, directing beloved romantic comedies like "Pretty Woman," "Runaway Bride" and "The Princess Diaries." And while his late output of movies – ranging from the Lindsay Lohan vehicle "Georgia Rule" to a trio of holiday-themed rom-coms – were often critically panned and performed unremarkably at the box office, there's something to be said about the fact Marshall made films unapologetically for women and about women, a group Hollywood then, and even still now, tends to treat as a niche audience.

Across television and film, Marshall also had a keen eye for burgeoning stars and how to utilize them in his projects. During his career, he helped launch Henry Winkler, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway all into stardom. They, and several others who worked with the producer over the years, took to Twitter to pay their respects to Marshall.