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John Haupt's video about Southridge's new bus stop location has gotten the public's attention.
John Haupt's video about Southridge's new bus stop location has gotten the public's attention.

Video fuels outrage about Southridge Mall bus decision

In this harsh Wisconsin winter, a citizen video is sparking public pressure against Simon Property Group’s decision to move the public bus stop 1,000 feet away from Southridge Mall’s entrances.

The video features would-be mall shopper John Haupt, a Wauwatosa resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis. In the video, Haupt chronicles the ordeal of moving from the bus stop to the mall’s northern entrances in a wheelchair.

"No one knows how difficult it is to go uphill in the snow," Haupt told me. "When I got there, I was shocked at how far it was. (With the video) I have received a lot of encouragement. I haven’t received anything that could be conceived as a negative light."

The video says it all, and no further comment from me or anyone else is needed to demonstrate the stupidity of the callous decision that is sure to discourage people with disabilities, the elderly, students and low-income people who ride the bus from shopping at the mall. The video has been picked up and featured on local television newscasts, including WISN-Channel 12.

Furthermore, no spin meister, public relations, marketing wizard, or damage control guru can cast a positive light on Simon’s decision.

It is what it is. Watch the video and see for yourself by clicking here.  Or, watch it below.

To sign a petition to demand that Simon return the bus stop to the entrance of the Sear’s store at Southridge Mall, click here, print and deliver the petition to Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik.

That is all.

A bill supporting Iron ore mining in northern Wisconsin has come under fire.
A bill supporting Iron ore mining in northern Wisconsin has come under fire. (Photo:

State mining law is moot

When the Wisconsin State Legislature convened in early 2013, the Republican majority made Senate Bill 1 to streamline the state’s mining regulations a top priority.

Supporters declared that the bill would create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in northern Wisconsin.

Detractors said the bill, as it was written, was not environmentally responsible and could endanger the "Up North" tourism economy.

Nearly a year later, the bottom has fallen out of the mining industry, and the bill is being exposed for what it was: a law written by proponents of the mining industry that was not tenable with federal environmental standards.

In crafting the bill, legislators huddled for months with representatives of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Gogebic Taconite mining company, which had hoped to construct an iron ore mine in Iron and Ashland counties.

However, a recent report by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Research Bureau warned that iron mining in northern Wisconsin would pose a variety of potential threats to human health and to the water supply that connects the complex ecosystem in the forest to wetland bogs and Lake Superior.

In a Dec. 23 letter to Matt Moroney, deputy secretary of the DNR, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory branch chief, Tamara Cameron, said the federal agency would not be able to work alongside the state to develop a joint environmental impact statement for the proposed Gogebic Taconite.

The federal decision prompted Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar), Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) and Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), the three lawmakers who had introduced an alternative to the bill that was written largely by the mining industry, to write a new letter to their colleagues.

"Either changes must be made to the law, or it will remain completely unworkable," the lawmakers' letter stated. "Defenders of the mining law can no longer ignore reality."

"The letter we sent was a ‘we told you so’ and ‘they told you s…

Molly Dill will serve as the new lead writer for the BizTimes Daily e-newsletter.
Molly Dill will serve as the new lead writer for the BizTimes Daily e-newsletter.

BizTimes refines editorial team

BizTimes is restructuring its editorial team, and the changes will have an impact on how the business community interacts with our company and how our award-winning editorial content is generated.

The most significant change is the promotion of reporter Molly Dill to associate editor. Molly has served as a reporter at BizTimes since June 2011. In her new role, she will be the lead writer of the BizTimes Daily e-newsletter.

It was difficult for me to give up that task. I’ve been writing the BizTimes Daily every day since it was founded around 2004. Crafting the morning’s news is a daily adrenaline rush. It’s like producing a newspaper every day.

However, BizTimes publisher Dan Meyer and I have decided that I can add greater value to the mission by freeing myself up more time to work "ON" the company, rather than "IN" the company.

Furthermore, Molly has proven to be a capable journalist who is eager to take on greater responsibilities in our firm. Last year, she received a Gold Award for Best Business Story from the Milwaukee Press Club for her reporting about Leinenkugel Brewing.

Molly will retain her role as the beat writer covering banking and finance, and she will continue to produce the BizTimes Money Weekly e-newsletter.

However, with the changes, the manufacturing beat will now be covered by reporter Dan Shafer, who also will continue to cover the health care beat. As such, Dan will oversee production of the BizTimes Manufacturing Weekly and the BizTimes Health Care Weekly e-newsletters.

Reporter Erica Breunlin will continue in her roles covering the workforce development, staffing, education and social networking beats. Erica will continue to produce the BizTimes Bubbler Weekly and the BizTimes Nonprofit Weekly e-newsletters.

Andrew Weiland will continue his role as managing editor. As such he will continue covering the real estate beat and will continue to oversee production of the BizTimes Morning Headlines and the BizTimes Real Estate Weekly e…