By Doug Hissom Special to Published Sep 12, 2007 at 5:20 AM

Ald. Mike D’Amato has taken a keen interest in the Judy’s Red Hot location at Locust and Holton and wants it closed. He asked the Licenses Committee to deny Judy’s from selling dogs due to building code violation. The violations seem relatively minor since owner Asad Sharif owes only $1,760 in fines. But D’Amato also includes charges of sexual assault in his request to close Judy’s, even though Sharif was found not guilty in a jury trial.

I remember when the place was a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and on one Super Bowl Sunday I was waiting for my bucket and a young man had his throat slashed in the lobby after trying to seek refuge in the building. Workers ducked behind the counter during the altercation. Police came running with guns drawn saying they were told shots were fired. Blood stained the front window as victim and assailants ran from the scene.

Army Punts on Destruction Job: In May, the U.S. Army moved out of its reserve base in Bay View on Logan Avenue and according to its lease with the City of Milwaukee  it had six months to clear the land of its 1950s-style buildings.

Neighbors thought that the Army was supposed to tear down the buildings, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. In a deal proposed by the city, Milwaukee will be taking over the tear-down and bill the Army $258,368 for the job. Ald. Tony Zielinski says to expect the site to remain vacant for a few years while the city decides what to do with the seven acres of space.

Two Drop Exec Plans: The race for Milwaukee County Executive has lost two candidates who had been tossing out trial balloons about running against Scott Walker in the spring. State Rep. Jon Richards and Ald. Mike D’Amato -- who both happen to live on the East Side -- now say they aren’t interested in the race. Richards -- who has said in the past he wants to run for governor -- says wanting to adopt a child takes precedence.

D’Amato -- who already has two opponents in his aldermanic race -- says he still has passion for city politics. State Sen. Lena Taylor appears to be in line to be anointed the Democratic nominee, even though the race is non-partisan. Joe Klein, who took third in the county exec primary in 2004, has filed papers declaring his campaign for 2008.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, who had considered running for county exec in 2004 has declared he has knocked on 5,000 doors in his campaign to unseat state Sen. Alberta Darling next fall.

On Guard: Ald. Tony Zielinski wants to bring a new gimmick to law enforcement to our fair city -- the Guardian Angels. The red-bereted vigilantes are more the subject of legends rather than reality. With much fanfare the group tried to get something going here in the 1980s but nothing much really happened beyond a few headlines.


The group also seems to be on recruiting mission of late, announcing this week that it was going to start chapters in Kansas City. Founder Curtis Sliwa, who has turned the group into his full-time income, was recently in Israel looking for recruits. Sliwa is supposed to be here Friday to meet with aldermen.

Smoked Out: State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who’s usually considered one of the most conservative members of the state legislature, is lighting up on an issue that usually no one embraces–anti-smoking campaigns by the state.

“I strongly question whether spending any more would benefit anyone other than the non-profit organizations receiving the grants,” he writes in an op-ed piece questioning why the state would spend $30 million on anti-smoking efforts. “Smoking is expensive, it’s bad for your health and could be considered rude to people around you -- everyone knows this.


The $30 million a year allocation would be about three times the national average and would be well beyond what neighboring states spend per capita -- Michigan spends nothing. Despite spending $10 million last year, smoking in Wisconsin went up from an average of 70 packs per person a year to 71.”

Update: Radio's Bob and Brian have been approved by the city’s street naming committee to have a portion of Martin Drive named after the duo. City Engineer Jeff Polenske objected to the designation citing city standards that require recipients of street names to be either dead or more than 70 years old.

Doug Hissom Special to
Doug Hissom has covered local and state politics for 20 years. Over the course of that time he was publisher, editor, news editor, managing editor and senior writer at the Shepherd Express weekly paper in Milwaukee. He also covered education and environmental issues extensively. He ran the UWM Post in the mid-1980s, winning a Society of Professional Journalists award as best non-daily college newspaper.

An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe.

He lives in Bay View.