It was great to see the Common Council do a flip-flop this morning on Janet Zweig's flip-photo project for Wisconsin Avenue, getting what would have been a major Milwaukee flop back on the rails.
At a Tuesday morning committee hearing, aldermen were wowed by the turnout and by the messages received in advance of it from constituents.
In the end, when the full council voted later in the morning, the project won approval by a 12-2 margin, with only Joe Dudzik -- he of the infamous phone message to Mike Brenner -- and Robert Donovan voting against.
From the many reports flying around about the hearing and later the vote, it appears that Ald. Michael Murphy and Nik Kovac were especially positive forces in the turnabout. Ald. James Witkowiak couldn't help but note that the turnout was impressive and the largest he's seen for anything unrelated to a tavern.
While some will toast the victory with a gathering at Art Bar in Riverwest tonight, others are simply exhausted from the battle.
"This is a very bitter sweet victory," says Brenner. "I am actually really sad about the whole thing; that it came to this. My hometown still has very little respect or concern for art."
But luckily, enough people are concerned enough to get out there and fight the good fight and, this time ‘round, the victory went to the arts.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.