While working on stories, reporters come across interesting tidbits that aren't quite full stories - at least not yet. Sometimes they'll add them to the end of stories, which insiders call a "notebook dump." Here's a notebook dump on items collected from the past week:
* NEW CAFE: Ben Lerner from the REC Center in Racine is opening a natural foods cafe in the former Daily Grind coffee shop. Lerner and his brother are set to open Circa Celeste around Aug. 1. They'll have coffee and tea and cafe-style food made from natural ingredients. We're hoping to catch up with Ben next week to learn more about the cafe.
* NEW RESTAURANT: A new seafood restaurant is opening up in Sturtevant. Captain's Cove Seafood Bar and Grill, 904 S. Sylvania Ave., should be serving food around Aug. 1. We've heard there's some interesting interior decorating going on, and hope owner Rodney Woznicki is available for an interview next week.
* RECORDS REQUEST: RacinePost appeared before the City Council Tuesday night seeking the release of former Mayor Gary Becker's email. The city has agreed to grant our records request for the emails - at a cost of $10,274.28. We contend the emails should be released at no cost because it's in the public's interest to uncover Becker's dealings as mayor. Our suggestion is to release the emails and place them at the library for anyone to see. Thanks to Tom at WRJN for reporting on our request.
* ROTARY: RacinePost was also invited to speak at the Downtown Rotary Club last Wednesday. Thanks to the club for having me speak - and for the great lunch!
* ALICANTE: Interviewing Maribel Salo earlier this month she told me about Alicante, Spain - her hometown. She described it as a beautiful city on the Mediterranean Sea with a constantly shining sun and temperatures in the 70s year round. She highly recommended it for any Spain-bound travelers.
* ENVI: Doug Nicholson said work on his next venture, the night club "Envi" on Main Street in the former Racine News building should be done in 9-10 months. Driving past we noticed a new framed structure on top of the building, but didn't get to ask what that's for.
* BIG BAND: This week we'll have a story and photos of a big band that plays every other Tuesday night at McAuliffe's on the south side. The group is off next week, but back the week after.
* LOCKWOOD TENNIS COURTS: The struggle to resurface the tennis courts in Lockwood Park is ongoing. The city has a couple of bids to do the work, but action seems stalled on the item. Just to recap, the courts were resurfaced years ago but the concrete immediately cracked. After a lengthy battle, the contractor redid the concrete, but then the paint chipped off. The courts are supposed to be a deep blue and red. Instead, they're concrete colored with lines painted on top. The city won a case to have the courts redone, but then the company that did the work went out of business (no surprise there, given the quality of their product). Local tennis fans hope to get the courts repainted for next year, but in tough budget times the money may not be there.