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It's tax deductible to donate a bike to DreamBikes.
It's tax deductible to donate a bike to DreamBikes.

DreamBikes wants your two-wheelers

DreamBikes opened last March and since then, the non-profit organization has sold hundreds of refurbished bikes to kids and adults all over the city. Now, the group is hoping to restock its supply with more donated bikes, perhaps even the one lurking in a corner of your garage or basement.

"We accept any bike, but are in desperate need of mountain bikes," says DreamBikes manager, John Hines.

DreamBikes -- located in Madison and Milwaukee -- sells and repairs bicycles at affordable prices. Kids' bikes range from about $50 to $95 and adult bikes range from $75 to $150.

Trek Bicycle Corporation president John Burke partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to start the organization in 2008.

DreamBikes hires teens ages 14 to 19 who have participated in the Club's Career Launch program. The students learn basic bike mechanics and business skills through their employment.

Stefhon Hubbard, 16, has worked at DreamBikes since the shop opened. "I'm learning a lot about bikes that I didn't know," he says. "And I'm helping my community."

Midlife Isis: Can kids be happy with divorced parents?

As you may remember, I wrote my first "Midlife Isis" blog and promised a weekly installation detailing my separation from my husband of 13 years and our plan to raise our sons in a loving-but-non-nuclear family. That was three weeks and three rough drafts ago. Turns out, writing this is more difficult than I expected.

The decision to transform our family was the biggest and most difficult decision of our lifetime. First and foremost, we had to answer the question: Can our kids be happy without having both parents under one roof? Or will this, inevitably, screw them up?

Like numerous friends, I grew up in a family with unhappy parents who made the decision to muddle through their bad marriage until the kids turned 18. In the meantime, they faked it, and consequently, I saw them at their worst.

And yet, I know now -- as an adult facing many of the same issues that they did -- that my parents did the best they could and were following a model that was thought to be the best choice. The "staying together until the kids are 18" concept was common during past decades -- particularly the ‘80s -- but because of my experiences, I can't do it. There are so many reasons for this.

I want my sons to someday live with partners they are truly in love with. I don't want to model a relationship for them -- even with their father -- that is anything less than that. Sure, their father and I love each other, like family members do, but we are not "in love." And we are too young to give up passion, even for the sake of our kids. However, our society -- even the supposedly progressive community in which I live -- suggests that I'm being selfish.

But despite judgments, we soldier on and return to the afore-proposed question: Can our kids be happy living in two households?

Deep thought, conversation, reading, soul searching and weeping -- so much weeping -- helped me come to the conclusion that yes, my sons can be happy living in a non-nuclear family. …

Now: Killer coffee and cerveza!
Now: Killer coffee and cerveza!

Fuel serves beer?!

It's true: Riverwest's Fuel Cafe started serving beer today. A sign in front of Fuel reads "Our beer is so fresh it's still a little warm."

The beer list include $3.50 bottles of various Lakefront beers, Ale Asylum, Pacifico and Point. Schlitz Tall Boys are available for $3.

I did not order one because I was in midday caffeine mode, but the addition of alcohol was noted. I look forward to washing down a Buttafuoco or a cheesy tomato sandwich with a Pacifico very, very soon.


Know a good teacher? Send him or her my way!
Know a good teacher? Send him or her my way!

Looking for teachers for the teacher spotlight

Starting in September, will run a six-week series of articles called the teacher spotlight. The articles will run in the Kids & Family channel on the site.

Every Monday, will showcase an outstanding Milwaukee Public Schools' teacher. Hence, if you would like to nominate one, please e-mail me at with his or her name, the school where they teach and contact information.

Happy back to school, Milwaukee.