WUWM News

Dueling Demonstrations in Madison

Feb 19, 2011

It's been another lively, emotional day at the state Capitol in Madison.

Thousands of demonstrators have been on hand, most protesting Governor Scott Walker's plan to strip public workers of most bargaining rights.

The Joint Finance Committee late last night approved legislation that would strip the public sector of most of its collective bargaining rights. All 12 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the bill, while the four Democrats opposed the controversial legislation that has drawn thousands to the state Capitol this week. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis joins us in the studio with the latest developments.

More protests are planned in Madison on Thursday. The state Capitol has become the center of opposition to Walker administration plans to virtually abolish state labor unions. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson is in Madison and has been speaking with some of the thousands of protesters as well as supporters of the governor's plans.

The halls of the state Capitol are expected to be packed again today as the state legislature prepares to vote on a proposal to strip state employees of most collective bargaining rights. Marti Mikkelson is in Madison and file this report.

For the second day in a row Wednesday, thousands of people converged on the state Capitol, many of them upset with Gov. Walker’s proposal to eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Dennis Johnson

Dec 10, 2010

Our “Life’s Voices” series continues on WUWM.

Each year-end holiday season, we chat with ordinary people whose extraordinary actions make them unique in the community. Today, we meet a Vietnam veteran who recently retired from a “blue collar” career that included stints as a crane operator and warehouse worker. His “work- a- day” world now centers on volunteerism and a different kind of heavy lifting. We spoke with him at a northwest side Milwaukee home that his group leases for homeless vets making the transition back to society.

Opportunities for Urban Agriculture

Nov 19, 2010

In our Project Milwaukee conclusion Friday Nov. 19 WUWM’s Bob Bach interviewed a number of guests, including James Godsil of Sweet Water Organics. It is exploring innovations in urban farming, including growing thousands of fish in a former industrial building.

Joshua Sutton

In this Project Milwaukee segment, WUWM’s Bob Bach interviewed Chris Dresselhuys, Director of Marketing for Palermo’s Pizza in Milwaukee. The company has a 135,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the city's Menomonee Valley. Palermo's Pizza has its roots in a family bakery and restaurant that Italian immigrants, Jack and Zina Fallucca, opened in Milwaukee in the 1960s.

Local Food Movement Growing Here

Nov 19, 2010

All week, WUWM has been exploring the strength of Wisconsin’s food industry, including its economic impact here in the southeast.

The state’s lion’s share is its commodities such as grains and dairy products, as well as processed foods. They’re sold across the country, and Wisconsin continues to develop markets overseas, because that’s where 96 percent of the world’s eaters live.

But the state is also begun promoting the local food movement; it encourages residents to buy foods produced close to home. The goal is to put fresher, more nutritious items on tables, while generating more business for Wisconsin producers.

Here’s more from WUWM's Marge Pitrof, on this, our our final day of Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate?

There’s a national movement afoot to grow more food in cities.

And the Milwaukee area stands out as an urban agricultural hotbed, as raised gardens multiply in backyards, empty lots and community spaces. Another promising piece of urban food production is called “aquaponics”.

They’re systems that combine fish and produce.

On this final day of our Project Milwaukee series on the local food economy, Environmental Reporter Susan Bence introduces us to local innovators using this fishy model to inspire future leaders.

As part of our special broadcast to conclude Project Milwaukee, WUWM’s Bob Bach interviewed Paulette Flynn, Executive Director of SHARE Wisconsin. SHARE is a food-buying club, which offers families discounts on food purchases in exchange for volunteer work. The local branch serves more than 21,000 people each month at nearly 200 locations in Wisconsin, northern Illinois, northeastern Minnesota, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Today, we continue our Project Milwaukee Series: What’s On Our Plate? We’re exploring the impact the food industry has on the local economy. As we reported yesterday, more than 14,000 people in the greater Milwaukee area work for food and beverage manufacturers. But the number grows by thousands, when you include the workforce involved in building machinery for the food industry and moving its products, as well as making them more appealing. WUWM’s LaToya Dennis visited a few local employers that enhance Wisconsin’s food industry. When most people go to the grocery store, they probably don’t give much thought to all the work that goes into making the items on the shelves. I mean really, when was the last time you thought about what went into making your strawberry yogurt the perfect color? Well that’s what Dina Dicks does every day. She works for CHR Hanson in West Allis. The company makes coloring and other food additives. Dina and I met in one of the company lab.

Southeastern Wisconsin has long been a leader in the world of manufacturing. That reputation might conjure images of machinery and tools. But nine percent of the items manufactured here are food products.

There are more than 250 food and beverage factories in southeastern Wisconsin, and the economic development group, the M7, estimates that those companies employ more than 14,000 workers and generate nearly $600 million in annual salaries. In this installment of “Project Milwaukee: What’s on our Plate?” WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson takes us to several operations that have been growing.

Wisconsin has long been known as the ‘dairy’ state, but it actually grows the biggest variety of crops in the nation. Farmers here are tops in cranberries, while soy is also huge, so is corn. Wisconsin is also near the top when it comes to growing and processing vegetables and meats. In this segment of our series, “Project Milwaukee: What’s On Our Plate,” we touch upon just a few of the products and related operations that link farm to market.

Organic Farming Factor

Nov 16, 2010

Wisconsin is second only to California, in the number of organic farms operating in the state.

The numbers, though, are still fairly low.

Of Wisconsin’s 78,000 farms, less than two percent are managed organically.

As we continue Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate?” WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence digs a little deeper into the variety and spirit among the state’s organic farmers.

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