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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Breast-feed or bust

Nursing moms are in a tizzy. They want to breast-feed.

Go ahead.

They want to have pictures taken of them doing so, and they want to be able to show you those pictures on their Facebook accounts on the Internet.

Sorry, sweetheart, but not everyone wants to see that. And not everyone wants to see you breast-feeding wherever you darn well feel like it.

The controversy will soon hit Wisconsin. Read about it in my post on The Right View Wisconsin.

All eyes on MPS this week

Mother Nature throws the kitchen sink at us the next several days with snow, wind, and cold.

Our corner of the world will revolve around the Milwaukee Public Schools, anxiously awaiting how they will react to the hodgepodge of weather. They close and just about everyone else tosses in the towel, too.

Many, many years ago, an MPS insider told me any announcement to close isn’t based on amount of snow, the temperature, or the wind chill factor. Whether or not to have classes depends on the school buses. If they start, the school bells ring. I'm not sure if the same criteria holds true today but it does seem to make sense.

Culinary no-no #94

Culinary no-no's

The slowly deteriorating Southridge Mall is a veritable wasteland when it comes to dining options, especially when you compare it to other malls.

Disregarding the obligatory food courts, Mayfair has Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Maggiano's Little Italy, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory and Panera Bread.

Brookfield Square has Paciugo, Bravo Cucina Italiana, Claim Jumper, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Houlihan’s, Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurant & Bar, and Stir Crazy. 

The Bayshore Town Center has Applebee’s, Bar Louie, BD’s Mongolian Grill, Bravo, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake factory, Chocolate Factory, Devon Seafood Grill, and Ovation Restaurant.

Southridge has……….not much. Well, it has……..nothing.

Down the street is Red Robin. Further down the street is an Olive Garden and a Carabbas. But the floundering Southridge Mall has nothing like its counterparts, save an ordinary food court. Its best and most popular restaurant changed dramatically when the Boston Store was forced to shut down Bingo games at its cafeteria.

The last time the mall had a decent place for sit down dining physically inside the mall was many years ago when it featured a Ruby Tuesday. That’s been long gone.

Before Ruby Tuesday, remember JoJo’s with those porthole windows? JoJo’s was right on 76th Street, near the current bank and Border’s.

The southwest corner of Milwaukee County cries out for more and better retail shopping and dining destinations. Southridge shoppers know that if they want something other than fast food on a tray with the huddled masses, you have to leave the mall and drive somewhere else. This will change on Tuesday.

Like the phoenix rising from the dead, another Ruby Tuesday officially opens on S.76th Street. Ruby Tuesday is a quality chain, a welcome addition to the restaurant.-barren landscape known as the Southridge area.

No standing in line to order. No lugging your tray hunting for a place to sit that’s actually clean. No looking into a speaker telling a pimply-faced 16-year old who can’t read, write, or understand basic English that you don’t want apple pie with that.

Finally, an honest to goodness, decent, reputable, tried and true place to eat.  Sigh upon sigh of relief.

Having said all that, when Ruby Tuesday’s opens on Tuesday (how clever is that), don’t go. That’s right.


Not Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Not next week. Not in two weeks. Not this month.

“Did you hear that, Edith? Kevin Fischer says we  should stay away from that there new whatchacallit, Judy Thursday Place.”

“That’s Ruby Tuesday, Archie.”


So what kind of community/business promoter am I if I’m urging readers, and this is no joke, not to patronize a place I’ve already defined as a “quality” establishment? It’s really quite simple.

Ruby Tuesday, through no fault of its own, is like any other comparable restaurant. It can’t help itself. Through no fault of its own, Ruby Tuesday will have all kinds of kinks and bugs to work out, being a spanking brand new place.

Go there on opening day or week and you might have a delightful experience. The odds are better you’ll encounter service delays, botched up orders, questions that employees can’t answer, confusion, apologies. It goes with the territory. Problem is it could lead to an unfair assessment on your part preventing a return visit. Now how’s that for good business?

The late Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dining critic Dennis Getto used to say that you should wait 4-6 weeks before venturing into a just-opened restaurant. Four to six weeks?  Won’t that spell economic disaster? Not for a chain. And you’ll probably enjoy your first trip there a whole lot more.

As Mick Jagger once sang, “Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday,” At least for a few weeks.


A restaurant with food to die for.

Ok, that place is still a helluva lot better than this.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #91

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #91 was devoted to crummy airport food. I wrote:

“Culinary prognosticators swear airports will substantially upgrade their fare in 2009. I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Here’s a start, right here in Milwaukee.

The MJS Scorecard (1/11/09)

MJS Scorecard

Last Sunday, I began a new feature on This Just In called, “The MJS Scorecard.” My goal is to subjectively track the number of liberal and conservative pieces printed in the Sunday “Crossroads” editorial section of the MJS (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

I am shocked, SHOCKED that this little ol’ blogger and his little ol’ experiment in just a matter of days garnered reaction. Of course, it came from the usual suspects: some lefty bloggers, and, not surprisingly, the newspaper!

Sonya Jongsma Knauss of the MJS. I think it’s a pretty good guess she showed up for work earlier last week not expecting some higher up to walk into her office space, muttering and sputtering that something had to be done about that no good Kevin Fischer and that she, unfortunately, had drawn the short straw.

I am convinced that some folks (Kevin Fischer detractors) don’t fully read my entire posts, or if they do, they simply don’t or refuse to comprehend the message.

The MJS’ Knauss and some others opined that I didn’t know George Stanley of the paper from George Jetson. Stanley doesn’t run the Crossroads pages, Ricardo Pimentel does.

Let’s go to my blog, shall we? I distinctly wrote;

Last October, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Managing Editor George Stanley tried his best to convince readers that the paper is fair and balanced. He cited some examples and then wrote, ‘In these cases the press, in all its forms, is not leading public opinion but reflecting it.’

He added, ‘We're here to serve all readers - conservative, liberal, independent and nonpolitical.’

Stanley was referring primarily to the paper’s reporters.”

Let’s see. Stanley’s name correct? Check.

Stanley’s official title correct? Check.

Stanley’s name spelled correctly? Check.

Reference made that Stanley is talking about the newsroom? Check.

Any mention at all that he is in charge of editorial pages? None.

So what the hell?

Some skeptics also suggested that I bear no resemblance to a Harvard or Yale statistician. They’re right. I don’t.

But I know a liberal column when I see one. Ditto for a conservative piece.

But Fischer’s doing it all wrong. He’s not  (whine) including works by Journal Sentinel writers. My goodness, that’s a hoot.

No, I’m not including newspaper employees like Patrick McIlheran whose work is in every Sunday edition. That would only skew the results. And do lefties really want me to score every product from Eugene Kane, Jim Stingl, Laurel Walker, and Pimentel as well as the actual editorials? I don’t think so.

For the record, I’ve received many “You go, Kev” notes, encouraging this watchdog weekly. So I repeat the parameters of my project:

I’ll review the most coveted editorial pages of the week by opinion-makers as well as the most widely-read, the Sunday “Crossroads” section of the Journal Sentinel. I will keep track of the conservative and liberal pieces published and keep a running score throughout the year.

I will not count pieces by Journal Sentinel columnists or Journal Sentinel editorial writers, short Quick Hits or Advisory Hits. Judgment is, of course, subjective, but I’m pretty sure I can perceive if an opinion piece is conservative or liberal.

What about Monday through Saturday? Sorry. I’m going to concentrate on the Sunday pages. If others want to take on the task of monitoring the other days, God bless them.

Let’s go to today’s paper:


Jerry Resler: Manufacturers could help recycle e-waste

I know Jerry, a retired member of the MJS Editorial Board, a good writer and a good guy. While he writes about a bipartisan proposal that has the support of the MMAC, his piece endorses a mandate on businesses. Not by much, but I toss this one under the “L” column.


Scott Walker: Don't use stimulus to build in swell budgets

George Will: Culture of law sues us into a stupor

Willie L. Hines Jr.: It's wrong not to teach what's right

Hines of the Milwaukee Common Council calls for ethics, morals and values in the Milwaukee Public School System. Definitely a conservative theme, even if Hines never attends the right-wing conspiracy meetings.

The paper also ran two pieces with differing views on the current Middle East conflict. While more conservatives and few liberals have come out in support of Israel the past week, this issue is difficult to label ideologically. I give the MJS credit for running both columns, but they’re not part of this week’s tally.


TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-4, Conservative -4

Hmmmmm. Could we be making a difference already?

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