By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 30, 2005 at 5:45 AM

{image1}Welcome to the first segment of a new weekly OMC column, "The Sunday Sound-off." Every Sunday, OMC will ask a question and post your responses in an article the following week.

This week's Sunday Sound-off question is:
Do you think the USS Des Moines should anchor in Lake Michigan?

The USS Des Moines was a peacekeeping ship during the Cold War era that last sailed in 1961. Now, a group of mostly veterans want to permanently park the ship in Lake Michigan, just off of Veteran's Park and turn it into a floating museum and tourist attraction. Opponents of the plan are concerned the 716-foot cruiser will obstruct lake views and stargazing, pollute the water and require taxpayers to foot the bill.

OMC randomly polled Milwaukeeans about this issue to get the ball rolling, and here are their thoughts:

Robert Racksack, 40

"Imagine that someone offered you the opportunity to import tons of unencapsulated aesbestos and rusty metal into your front yard. Would you do it? Not I."

Timothy B. Johnson, 33
Former U.S. Army Drill Sergeant
"Recently I was informed that Milwaukee is entertaining the idea of having the USS Des Moines docked at the lakefront to be a floating museum. I must say that this sounds like an outstanding idea! I feel that this would increase the spectrum of the tourist industry in our city. We have many fine attractions in our great city, but I feel we don't cater to all tastes as far as that goes. This would be a welcome change to our city and would most definately widen the allure that Milwaukee already has to offer.

I also have heard the other side of the argument that having the Des Moines docked here would cause harm to the environment. I do not see how an inactive ship would cause any impact to the environment. I would understand and agree if it was decided to put an active naval base on our lakeshore. That would definitely cause the worst possible impact on the environment. However, since this will be an inactive ship, there will be little or no impact at all."

Tea Krulos, 27
"At seven stories high, with no tie-in to Wisconsin history, the USS Des Moines is just a giant junker. It doesn't even serve to remember WWII. Built after the war, the only combat it saw was the cold war. I have great respect for our veterans but they should sell the ship for scrap metal."

Janet Schiff, 31
"My view on this matter will probably differ from my contemporaries' views. Having USS Des Moines docked as a floating museum on Milwaukee's lakefront would be a benefit for our tourism industry. As a permanent installation, the ship will draw a wide variety of people to our lakeshore. I few years ago I toured USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was an awesome adventure to explore the ship and feel the history of those who have served for America."

William Sell
Writer/editor; activist
"Let the governments finally hear us snap back about all that: the infected beaches, the containment pond, shipping and scrap industries parked forever, St. Francis Condos, Jones Island, even if you love the Calatrava, Pieces of Eight, Summerfest and its artificial island, or Harnischfeger. Basta. No More. No long guns casting 99 years of shadows on our park.?

Next Sunday's question:
Do you think the new owner of the Brewers, Mark Attanasio, will have a positive impact on the team's success?

E-mail us at and if picked, we'll post your response next Sunday. To have your two cents' worth included in the article, please include your name, age and vocation.