Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008

Boris Doris

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Festive political hopefuls included Rebecca Dallet, running for Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge, Branch 40; state Sen. Lena Taylor, seeking the county exec’s seat; and aldermanic candidate Nik Kovac. Among the shoulder-rubbers and hand-shakers were state Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine); Milwaukee Art Museum’s Sara Stum; Christine Treiber, United Way of Greater Milwaukee; Longacre musician Ken Hanson; attorneys Mark Thompson and Rebecca Coffee from the Mastantuono Law Office; and attorney John Birdsall.

Also circulating were Phillip Walzak of the mayor’s staff; Carrie Herker, a recent MATC nursing school grad; and former semi-pro golfer Eric Tallmadge, now international account manager for Landmark Golf Course Products. His company just finished outfitting the 18- hole championship Dubai Sports City golf course with custom-made fixtures and fittings, including benches, yardage markers and refreshment stations.

Natural Art: Currently displayed at the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) are eclectic hangings and drawings by Wisconsin artists Debbie Jircik, Kirsten Christianson, Pat Hidson and Fran Cheney. Each spoke about their love of art and nature at the opening reception for the “Gathering in the Wild” art show. Admiring the works were UEC board member and event organizer Danni Gendelman; consultant Lenore Lee; Pat Hidson’s daughter Megan Bentz; artist/writer Barb Manger; Kristine Gunther and photographer Philip Krejcarek; housing designer Joe White; poet Mary Oliver; William Stafford; Sabine Larson, Chris Zapf and mortgage broker/artist John Tekavec.

Bonobo Bash: Also at the UEC exhibit was Janine Arseneau, who is soon going to Uganda with Amy Peterson and her daughter, Sara Walls, as part of a Grandmothers Beyond Borders expedition. She also organized a recent fund-raiser at the Coffee House to raise money for bonobo protection and the Bonobo Species Survival Plan. The band Embedded Reporter played to a full house, and speakers included Barbara Bell from the Milwaukee County Zoo and Gay Reinartz of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, who Shepherd readers know from her “Dispatches from the Congo” series. In the crowd were Milwaukee activists extraordinaire Jim Godsil and Bill Sell, as well as bonobo expert Harry Prosen, Paula Brookmire, Pegi Taylor, John and Martha Lunz, Peter Lee, Trish Kahn from the zoo’s primate department and the adorable 6-month-old Elladia Wake and her mom, Holly Haebig.

Tax Chat: The Boynton-McAvoys hosted a gathering in their home, featuring the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future and its groundbreaking research on tax fairness (or lack thereof) in Wisconsin. Jack Norman led a discussion, joined by luminaries including Milwaukee County Supervisor Gerry Broderick; the Marcus Center’s Paul Matthews; state Rep. Pedro Colon; Danni and Shel Gendelman; Mark Forman and Beth Eisendrath; Ruth and Leonard Zubrensky; and Dave Behrendt.

Slow Foodies: The Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast chapter held its annual meeting at the South Shore Pavilion, kicked off by a lively reception with beer provided by Lakefront Brewery. A delicious array of “slow soups” were donated by local restaurants, including Chez Jacques and Brian Moran’s St. Paul Fish Co. at the Public Market; complemented by the most delicious cupcakes from Karen Smith, new owner of The Cake Lady on KK; and Anodyne Coffee by Matt McClutchy. Martha Davis Kipcak, Slow Food Wisconsin Southeast leader, ran the meeting where Karen Siegel, Becky Wilke and Jennifer Casey were unanimously elected to the board.

Others there included current board members Julie Edell-Berlin; Jill Weinshel; David Kozlowski, with his wife, Sandra Raduenz, owners of Oak Creek’s Pinehold Gardens; chef David Swanson; and Ann Wegner LeFort, who is leaving the board. Chatting and enjoying the evening were Sandy Folaron, Mitchell Park Domes director; Jean Groshek; Dean Weiger; Barbara Chudnow; consultant and Argan oil promoter Stefan Hanke; and social workers Sue Cottrell and Joyce Radke.

Song Festing: Monthly since 2003, songwriter and union activist Brett Kemnitz has hosted an open-house jam at his Sherman Park home, replete with walls brightly decorated by Kitty Dyble Thompson’s murals of musicians. Kemnitz’s latest gathering celebrated his first official day of retirement from the city. The roomful of musician pals dishing up originals and covers included guitarist Francesca Brown, who has a regular gig at Waukesha’s Steaming Cup with master electrician/multi-instrumentalist Jerry Danks; John Hrobar, a We Energies environmental technician; contractor Rick Olson; self-described “computer geek” Don Pardee; motivational coach Mary Wacker; MATC teacher Tom Martinsen; and Russ Blaha. Other multi-instrument players on hand were Chris Iverson; locksmith Greg Jacowski; and Gary Kitchin. Rich Morgan also played African djembe drums; with MPS psychologist David Towle on banjo. Richard (Elmer) Klein handled a mean accordion and George Bauer accompanied this veritable MacNamara’s Band on his harmonica.

If you have any tips for Boris and Doris, contact them at borisanddorisott@aol.com. Their next column will appear in the Jan. 31 issue of the Shepherd.

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