July 18, 2009

Second time's a charm for triathlon winner

The start of the Women's Only Sprint

And here's the start of the Blue Wave

The Spirit of Racine Triathlons got off without a hitch this morning. Unlike last year's fog, racers today were met with sunshine and a water temperature of 59 degrees.

"That's six degrees warmer than last year," exulted race director Shannon Kurek. "It's a heat wave."

He was kidding, of course -- or was he?

Racine's three races will draw an estimated 2,000 runners, compared to last year's 1,900. That doesn't tell the complete story, however, since this year's event -- beset, like everything else, by the faltering economy -- has far fewer sponsors and some cutbacks. Like prize money. Last year, there was a total purse of $25,000. This year: $0.

That doesn't really affect participation, Kurek says, because only 30 top runners would collect the prize money anyway. So while some pro's might pass up the Tri, all the usual sport athletes are here as usual. "This is a resume-builder," he said. "You look good in the world standings." Today's two races, the Women's Only and the Co-ed Blue Wave, together drew about 500 participants. Sunday's Spirit of Racine Tri has about 1,500 registrants so far

Morgan Chaffin accepts congratulations after her big win

Winner of this morning's first race, the Women's Only Sprint Tri, was Morgan Chaffin of Carbondale, IL -- last year's second-place finisher. Morgan, 26, won in a time of 1:03.37, far ahead of the rest of the field. (Update: In second place was Andrea Crapisi, in 1:08.44.) Morgan's time was six minutes faster than last year's winner (Ashley Jensen in 01:09:44), and nine minutes faster than her own pace then, of 1:12.35. Morgan is a USA All-Star triathlete with a string of firsts in cycling. Her fiance competes in the longer Spirit of Racine Tri, which starts Sunday at 7 a.m.

We'll post a link to all the results as they are posted by race officials. Update, 11:30 p.m.: We still can't find the results online, but the JT lists Colin O'Brady, 24, as the men's winner of the Blue Wave Sprint, in 58:40; and Stacey Kiefer, 31, as the fastest woman, in 1:03.35.
Finally: Saturday's results are official:
Our earlier story is HERE. And here are some more pictures from this morning's action.

Racine stakes a claim to most-emailed news story

Just when you thought, "Now that the Michael Jackson story is history (sort of), we can concentrate on important news," something else irrelevant came up to take its place.

A story from Racine.

About the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile crashing into a house.

Yup, it's Yahoo's most e-mailed story.

And a reader just informed us that it made TMZ.com as well.

(And on Monday, July 20, the story made it into Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show monologue -- although, thankfully, he didn't mention Racine as he turned the story into a gay joke: "And just before the wienermobile hit his house, the homeowner said, 'Dear God, if I'm gay, give me a sign.' ")

Oh, well, it's better publicity than the last time Racine news went viral...

July 17, 2009

Job openings ...

Just a quick note on some job openings we've come across in recent days ...

* OIC of Racine County has six openings for its YouthBuild Racine Greentech Project. They're looking for building and education professionals to run the program. Click here for details.

* Gus's Gyros, a new restaurant at Douglas and Goold, is looking for waitstaff, bussers and cashiers. If you're interested, stop by the Better Day BP at 2100 Douglas Ave, to apply.

* The City of Racine Health Department has at least five openings. Two openings are posted here. Call the department for information on the other jobs at 262-636-9201.

SCJ Fund gives OIC $240,000 for Upward Bound

The S.C. Johnson Fund has awarded a four-year grant of $240,000 ($60,000 per year) to the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Racine County to provide local support for the Upward Bound Program. The U.S. Department of Education also supports the program with a four-year, $1 million federal grant.

Upward Bound supports high school students from low-income families and families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal is to increase the rate at which these students complete high school and enroll in and graduate from institutions of post-secondary education. Sixty students are enrolled in the program, with 35 of them participating in a six-week residential summer academic enrichment program at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Their summer will wrap up with one-week trip to Georgia to visit four college campuses and visit CNN studios and the Coca-Cola facilities in Atlanta.

The OIC program provides academic instruction in math, reading, writing and study skills all year 'round. It also provides financial and personal counseling, tutorial services, mentoring, assistance in preparing for college entrance exams and guidance in post-secondary educational opportunities.

Claudius Adebayo, executive director of OIC, said, “I have always believed in the extra-ordinary powers of good education to lessen or even eradicate the devastation of poverty. I experienced it in Africa but it still has to be constantly preached in this country. What S.C. Johnson Fund is doing is making the dream a reality for many low-income families in Racine to break that vicious cycle and get out of poverty. I can never thank them enough for that.”

For more information about Upward Bound, contact OIC of Racine County at (262) 636-3818.

State buys new trains for Hiawatha;
region in line for train assembly plant

Talgo train on Cascades line. Photo by lazytom via flickr.

Gov. Jim Doyle today announced an agreement with the Spanish train manufacturer Talgo to put two trains into service in Wisconsin.

The trains will be used on the Amtrak Hiawatha line, which stops in Sturtevant on its way between Chicago and Milwaukee, with the cars pulled by existing locomotives. Each train "set" provides a seating capacity of 420 compared to the current 350. Hiawatha ridership continues to grow, with more than 766,000 riders in 2008, a 24% increase over 2007.

In addition, Doyle said that Talgo will establish new assembly and maintenance facilities in the state, most likely in south central or southeastern Wisconsin, creating about 80 jobs.

Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, applauded Doyle's announcement, and said, “Racine is uniquely situated to be the home for this new train assembly facility and for the jobs it will create. I am formally inviting Talgo representatives and the Governor’s staff to tour Racine as soon as possible and see firsthand the numerous benefits of locating the new assembly facility in our community.”

Doyle said, “I can’t wait for our Midwestern travelers to experience first-hand the comfort, modern amenities and expanded seating capacity on these wonderful trains. This relationship has the potential to create even more jobs, gives the state a major role in the growth of an exciting transportation industry and helps us move forward with our vision for high speed passenger rail service in the Midwest.”

Wisconsin will purchase two, 14-car trains for $47 million. The agreement provides an option to buy two additional trains if the state receives federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for the extension of passenger rail service from Milwaukee to Madison.

The rail car assembly plant will support the delivery of Talgo trains throughout the country. Talgo cars are made of aluminum alloy with welded seams to form a structural frame making them lighter and stronger than traditional rail cars. The rail cars use passive tilt technology that allows the cars to navigate curves at higher speeds with less car tilting and to ride smoother at higher speed. Parts for the Talgo trains will be manufactured in Spain and shipped to Wisconsin for assembly. Talgo will work with Wisconsin and other U.S. vendors to supply parts for the trains.

The new Wisconsin rail car maintenance facility will provide service for equipment used in the Midwest. Talgo currently operates a maintenance facility in Seattle to service Amtrak Cascades trains.

Amtrak board chairman Thomas Carper said, “Amtrak has had a great response to Talgo train equipment on its Cascades Service in the Pacific Northwest, and we are confident travelers on the Hiawatha Service will have the same reaction."

Mason, a commissioner on Racine’s Redevelopment Authority, noted, “This is exciting news on several fronts. It moves us closer to the development of high speed rail, which will plug Racine into the region and be a key component of economic development. This partnership also creates opportunities to bring jobs to Racine, a community already rich in train-related expertise. Racine is home to a number of very attractive manufacturing sites on existing rail lines and has local businesses with train expertise. We have the experience, skilled labor force and rail knowledge to be the ideal location for the new assembly facility.”

Rally for health care marches Downtown

Ryan Gleason of C4C gives the group last-minute instructions

Some three dozen people rallied today for universal health care. The group, organized by Community for Change, walked from the Gateway campus to Monument Square, where their visual message competed for attention with the sounds of Lake Effect and the construction work under way on Sixth Street.

Participants in the rally said they were interested in health care reform, but they didn't necessarily agree with President Obama's plan to revamp the current system. Scott Jarvela, of Racine, said he felt Congress was moving too fast. "Slow down, fellas," was his message on national leaders trying to expand health care coverage to most Americans.

But Jarvela said the need for reform is real. While his job provides him solid benefits, his mother struggles month-to-month to pay for the prescription drugs she needs. Her Social Security payments barely provide enough to cover her living expenses plus the $150 to $200 she pays for prescription drug coverage.

Jarvela said he came out to the rally because it was described as nonpartisan. He simply hoped to learn more about the issue and get a gauge on where people stand.

Jeff Pellerin, of Racine, started work when he was 14 years old and never let up until a bad back and battered hands forced him to retire. He's on disability, but has to wait until August 2010 before he's eligible for government-assisted health care. Until then, he's scratching by on Social Security and hoping he lives long enough to get to a doctor.

"It's been a struggle," said Pellerin, who can feel something wrong inside of his body, but doesn't know what it is. Without insurance he can't afford to see a doctor, yet his Social Security payments (built up from working since he was a teenager) are too high for him to qualify for health coverage now.

What frustrates Pellerin is he did everything right. He worked hard all of his life, made decent money as a truck driver with the Teamsters, and his reward is a life on the edge. Pellerin even turned down a life living on disability. He was in a car crash that left his hands as burned stumps with fingers that don't bend. Doctors told him he'd never work, but Pellerin ignored them and got a job anyway. Now, as his body gives out, he's left to wait for a catastrophe.

"It's gonna cost more to leave me untreated," Pellerin said. "They're going to wheel me into the ER someday and spend a hundred times more to treat me."

Channel 58 news out of Milwaukee covered the rally.

Pellerin shared his story with Paulette Garin, the former Congressional candidate who's made health care reform her signature issue. Garin supports a single-payer system that would, essentially, wipe out the current insurance industry and replace it with a government-run health care system that would guarantee everyone automatic coverage for life, even if they change or lose a job.

"It's the only way," said Garin, who is the state coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America.

Garin was critical of Obama's plan, saying not enough is known about the "public option" for health care. (The "public option" would create a government-run insurance company that would be available to all Americans and compete with private insurance companies.) Garin said as companies continue to cut costs and look for efficiencies they'll drop health insurance and force employees to sign up for a government program that is, at least now, ill-defined.

Friday's rally was a precursor to the Health Care Forum that Community for Change is organizing from 1-4 p.m. on July 26 at the Masonic Center, 1012 Main St., in Racine. The nonpartisan event is open to the public. Participants will be able to share their stories about the health care system and learn more about the national debate on the issue.

Meanwhile, Lake Effect serenaded the music lovers

During the rally on Monument Square, Community for Change set up a table to promote its July 26 forum. A representative from Downtown Racine Corp ordered them to move the table, saying DRC had paid to lease the square for its Music on the Monument series. It was a somewhat surprising request because Community for Change had been on the square the previous two Fridays without being asked to move, and the table clearly wasn't interfering with the music. Here's a further explanation from Community of Change's Ryan Gleason about what happened (as left in the comments):
A person from the DRC approached me at the Square and informed me they had Monument Square reserved and that we would have to leave.

We were situated on the opposite end of the square from where the music was taking place. After the notification we immediately packed up without disagreement or incident. The music was not blocked and there was no shouting or unruly behavior.

As the DRC had paid to reserve the square, I have no issue with their decision or the way they went about it. In fact, many of us stayed to enjoy the music and get lunch, which was the intention anyway. We were well out of view of the music and spectators, but the DRC reserves the right to make the call since they paid.

The participants were well behaved and promoted an agenda of asking our lawmakers to reform our health care system. I'm very pleased to get this nonpartisan message out there and of the people that chose to participate. Both parties have different solutions to get us there, but the main point is that we have to get there. That was the message.

Positively Racine: The refuge and resource by the lake

By Bill Griffiths

Now that graduation ceremonies are over and all the flowery words have been said, it might be time for many of us to consider the value of life-long learning. That is, learning things YOU want to just because YOU want to…not because anyone requires it.

Racine has a terrific resource for just that sort of learning, the Library. It’s useful for those of us seeking:
· a neutral place to be, to think, to read, to be away from distractions at home,
· a place to focus on a job search,
· a DVD for the weekend,
· a new book or a new topic we haven’t considered before,
· a quiet place to work on a report or a project,
· special programs (offered on a regular basis),
· to pick up books or videos we’ve reserved via email,
· to use the internet,
· to borrow some music on CDs,
· to have something to read in anticipation of a snowy or rainy weekend,
· to enjoy the view of the lake from the reading room,
· to introduce our children to the many benefits of reading, or
· to pursue the joy of reading for the sheer pleasure of it.
According to Library Director Jessica MacPhail, Racine has had a library since 1897. The current building was built in 1958 and renovated in 1990. Right now, there are some exciting interior architectural changes in the planning process that are expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

The weakened economy has increased our usage of the library. Circulation in 2009 has increased about 13% compared with the first six months of last year. Additionally, there has been a 32% increase in library cards issued for 2009 compared with the first six months of 2008.

Libraries have changed over the years to meet the changing interests and demands of the public. Racine’s librarians and staff are committed to making the library a useful resource for the people who use it and support it. The library is part of a “resource exchange”, called SHARE, which broadens the access to the collections of 43 libraries and over one million titles. Also, the librarians are continually looking for new titles to add to the collection (last year they added nearly 24,000 new items) and are open to suggestions from library users.

Every community has a wide range of different interests, and the Racine Library tries to address as many of those as is practical. Right now there are a number of interesting programs scheduled for the summer, programs for adults, teens and children. This is the time to go over to 75 Seventh Street and take a look, or spend some time browsing the programs and offerings at: www.racinelibrary.info

If you don’t have a library card, summer is a good time to get one. (And, if you don’t have one, it’s still in your taxes ((or indirectly reflected in your rent)), so why would anyone NOT have a library card and make use of it?) While the Library is not a line item on your real estate tax bill, the average cost per capita is about $26.50 per year, or about the retail cost of one book per person.

July 16, 2009

Here's your chance to become an alderman!

Want to be an alderman? Here's your chance.

The City Council has a vacancy -- left by 10th District's Tom Friedel, who resigned to become city administrator. City Council President Q.A. Shakoor, II sent out an announcement yesterday informing the public "of our intent to fill this vacancy before the end of August. It is imperative this position not remain open until the April 2010 election. The citizens of the wonderful city must have complete representation in all levels of government." Interested?

Shakoor's announcement went on to say:
Interested citizens of the 10th Aldermanic District should submit resume and cover letter stating reason for seeking the appointment along with intent to serve if appointed.

A person must be a resident elector of the 10th District within ten (10) days of the appointment. In order to be eligible, a person must also be eighteen (18) years of age.

Send information to Office of Mayor: Attention Council President Q.A. Shakoor, II, 730 Washington Avenue, Racine, WI 534503, postmarked or hand delivered no later than August 10, 2009.
The 10th district which covers wards 23 and 24 is roughly bounded by 21st Street on the North, the Union Pacific Railroad Line on the East, Taylor Avenue and the Old North Shore Bike Trail on the West, and the City limits on the South.

The appointee will serve only until next April, when the next election will fill the position. Aldermen receive a salary of $6,900 per year.

Tousis draws on nostalgia for new Gus's Gyros

The inside of Gus's features wall murals of owner Tom Tousis's fond childhood memories.

Tom Tousis has a simple formula for a restaurant: Build a nice place, serve good food and offer it all at a good price. "It's a good combo," he said.

Tousis hopes all three pieces come together next week when he opens his new restaurant, Gus's Gyros at the corner of Douglas Avenue and Goold Street next door to the Better Day BP gas station.

After a recent tour of the new place, it's clear he's nailed two of the points. The interior of Gus's is a sleek modern take on American nostalgia with beautiful murals on the walls and stainless steel tables and chairs in the dining room. One of the murals is a menu that shows prices ranging from $2 for a hamburger to $6 for a giant gyro (Tousis was reluctant to share what the "BFG" will look like; he said it was a surprise for when they open.)

Gus's menu, painted on a wall in the restaurant.

Prices at Gus's are great. The restaurant will offer four styles of gyros starting with the original "1978 Gyro" (1978 is the year the Tousis family moved to Racine) for $4.99. The "Cheesehead Style" comes with a cheddar cheese sauce and onion rings for $5.49. The "Big Fat Cow" is a gyro cheeseburger combo for $5.99 and "The BFG" is a giant gyro for $6.99.

Hamburgers and cheeseburgers are automatically doubles and cost $2.99 for a hamburger and $3.29 for a cheeseburger. Singles are $1.99 for a hamburger and $2.29 for a cheeseburger.

Everything served will be made fresh on site, Tousis said. They'll even serve homemade fries cut with a potato press, he said.

Good food is a given for the Tousis family, which has a long history of running restaurants in Racine since Gus moved the family to town. Among their restaurants include Gibson's Charhouse, Ritzy's restaurant on Washington Ave. and Andrea's in Downtown Racine.

Gus's is built on the site of the former Gibson's and connects with the Better Day gas station, which Tousis opened in December 2007. Tousis' family bought the land at Douglas and Goold in 1989 from Marcus Corp, which ran a Big Boy there.

(As an aside, the gas station looks good, and even has a worldwide claim to fame. It was the first station to entirely use LED lights for its exterior lighting. Ruud Lighting, which manufactured the lights, brings tours by the station twice a week to show off the green technology, Tousis said. Gus's will actually go a step further, using second-generation LED lights that Ruud is rolling out.)

Stainless steel stools line the counter at Gus's.

Gus's interior is sharp. It has about 10 tables inside plus a counter. There's room for at least four tables outside. (Tousis also plans to open a drive-thru window once the restaurant is up and running.) The walls were painted by noted local artist Jane Cascio, who painted the mural on the outside of the Yardarm and played a major role in designing and creating the Uptown mosaic.

Tousis said he asked Cascio to create a mural of his fond childhood memories. There's a baseball field, the Zephyr passenger train, Captain America, Superman (actually, "Super Gus") and the Statue of Liberty.

Other walls have "rules" for eating at Gus's (most of them are jokes) and the menu.

"We don't want it to look manufactured," Tousis said.

"Rules" for eating at Gus's.

Tousis said running a restaurant comes naturally. He remembers being four years old sitting in a kitchen and watching his Dad and others run businesses. With Gus's, Tousis said he wanted to keep things simple to focus on quality. "Logistically, this is a lot simpler than what we did in the past," he said.

Plus, it's a true family business. Gus's is named after his father, Gus Tousis, who moved the family in Racine in 1978 to open Andrea's. Gus will be involved in running his namesake restaurant, as will Tom's wife. One of the wall murals even includes Tom's two sons and nephew.

Gus's will be open for lunch and dinner. Hours aren't set yet, but Tousis said the restaurant will probably open around 10:30 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

For any job-seekers out there, Gus's is hiring waitstaff, cashiers and bussers. If you're interested in applying, stop by the restaurant.
Gus's Gyros' sign is lifted into place on July 15.

Close-ups of two murals on the wall of Gus's Gyros.

July 15, 2009

YPR holding its '5:05 Club' Thursday at Freddie's Friki Tiki

YPR's new executive director Krystyna Sarrazin is inviting Racine's young professionals out for a drink Thursday at the Chancery's Friki Tiki lounge. Here's the invitation from Sarrazin:
They’re in every large corporation, small business, retail store on Main Street, and just about everywhere business is conducted – they’re Racine’s young professionals and they will play a role in the future of this community. The Young Professionals of Racine (YPR) is calling these professionals to come out in force on Thursday to show Racine just how many of us are out there and to learn more about the Young Professionals of Racine (YPR) organization. “YPR exists in order to help bring this demographic together – for professional and social networking and community service opportunities,” said Krystyna Sarrazin, YPR director. “We are the face and voice of young professionals in our community and Thursday’s event is a casual social-networking opportunity. The event is our monthly 5:05 Club which takes place the 3rd Thursday of each month. There is no charge and you can come anytime it is convenient for you. This week we are gathering at Freddie’s Friki Tiki at the Chancery. I’m not even going to mention the rain location because the forecast is calling for near 80 degrees and sunny!" To learn more about YPR and other upcoming events, check out our website at www.ypracine.org.

Local group writes open letter to Rep. Ryan on health care reform

Community for Change sent the following open letter to Rep. Paul Ryan regarding their health care forum planned for July 26 in Racine:
Dear Congressman Ryan,

During a listening session in Racine last February, a Community for Change member described a non‐partisan health care event being planned for Racine this summer and asked if you would attend. Your reply was yes, if your calendar allowed. Your office was then contacted several times informing your staff we would schedule the event per your calendar. The response each time was a form letter stating prior commitments, though no specific date had been put forward. It turned out there was no convenient time in July or early August for you.

By June the planning committee set a date in late July for the forum. We contacted your staff in Janesville one more time to see if you could attend. On July 10th, the State Director of Organizing for America also contacted your Washington office respectfully requesting your attendance. Each request yielded the same form letter as before stating prior commitments.

We understand your busy schedule and your need to commit time fairly. However, we are left to wonder if you ever actually meant to attend.

Our pursuit of your presence stems from your appearances on national media discussing the Independent Health Record Trust Act wth, however, virtually no time in Wisconsin to talk locally about these issues. There is no better opportunity for you to learn and listen to the people in your district than by attending our forum on July 26, 2009 from 1 to 4pm at the Racine Masonic Center, 1012 Main Street. We wish to learn more about this important legislation and will gladly schedule any appropriate time for you to address the foum.

The Community Conversation on Health Care Reform: Expo and Public Forum is the result of hundreds of hours of planning by Racine volunteers. There will be sixty health organizations from Racine and Kenosha Counties attending an Expo that honors their hard work and edcates the public on the services they offer. Comprised of community organizations, health care businesses and individuals, the expo brings together your constituents who are on the front lines of local health care. In addition to the forum, we will host a public discussion with community leaders ‐‐ Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Volunteers will also coordinate a learning center with updates on developments in Washington and how they might be affected, and allow the opportunity to submit feedback to elected leaders. This is a free event with no corporate sponsors -- simply the people.

As the date for The Community Conversation on Health Care Reform: Expo and Public Forum draws near, we want to once again extend an invitation for you to attend and participate in this exciting and educational event. Tricia King in your Janesville office has our contact information and we look forward to hearing from you.


Kelly K. Gallaher
& Community for Change Health Care Forum Team

Note on RacinePost comments

We're getting a lot of comments about our comments these days. It's a good problem for us because it means we're reaching a critical mass in the community. But it's still a problem.

The main issue is the negative comments on just about every story. It doesn't take long for discussions to turn personal, nasty, inappropriate and counterproductive to our efforts of promoting positive dialogue about Racine. Our challenge is addressing these comments without stifling debate and reader interaction, which is immensely helpful in running a news website. (For example, JJ McAuliffe corrected one of my stories this morning. I made the change the story is more accurate for it.)

We delete comments on a fairly regular basis. Nearly all of those comments are an unsubstantiated attack on someone's personal character, but we have no set policy. It's like the Supreme Court ruling on obscenity: We know an offensive comment when we see it.

Other comments we let stand, but respond to. For example, I jumped in on Alderman Bob Mozol's behalf because my experience is he's a sincere, hard-working politician who deserves better than to be insulted by an anonymous blogger. But he's also an elected official subject to public ridicule; it's part of the job. Same with comments about the Post. We generally let them stand because we believe in giving people their say. But we don't expect everyone to take on a thick skin; that's not fair of us to ask.

So that's the problem and our current responses to negative comments. Hardly satisfying, right? I'd like to propose a new alternative. We are shifting to a registration system, but it's taking awhile to work out the bugs and there's no guarantee it'll stop the negative comments (ie. The Journal Times).

From what I can tell, negative commenters make up about 10 percent of our readership. They're a vocal 10 percent, but they're definitely outnumbered. It's up to the rest of us to drown out their voices. We all support and believe in our community, so let's say so. If you see a negative comment, respond with something overtly positive. Here's some examples:
  • I love North Beach. What a great resource for Racine.
  • The triathlon is in town this weekend. What a great event!
  • First Friday was hopping last month. Can't wait for the next one!
  • Kringle!
Just go with whatever pops into your head. Let's wash away the negative comments with a collective effort to present a positive image of Racine. This post will be our first test. No doubt someone will make a cynical, negative comment in the first few minutes. Respond with an optimistic, positive comment. You can change the tone with a few words. Give it a try!

On a related note, I'm thinking through a letter-writing idea that focuses on what we like about the city. We'd create a written record of the many wonderful things about Racine, from Kewpee's to Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, to the REC center and so on. If we can create a written history of what we love and support in Racine, officials in power will have something to rely on if they ever need to make a decision about the Zoo, the library, Monument Square, farmer's markets, the Root River, golf courses, etc.

But more on that later ... for now, let's try hard to keep it positive.

July 14, 2009

Seven RAM sculptures travel to Sheboygan

Seven pieces by ceramicist Jack Earl from the Racine Art Museum's permanent collection have been lent to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, for their exhibition, American Story.

"American Story serves as a reminder that the United States is a country united by its faith in the individual and in each person's right to shape her or his own life," said Ruth DeYoung Kohler, center director. "The artists' stories, brought to life in paintings, sculptures, textiles, multi-media works and large-scale installations, tell personal stories, and yet, taken as a whole, they embody our shared American story."

Jack Earl is one of the finest storytellers working in clay. For more than 40 years, he has created narrative sculptures that revolve around his life in rural Ohio. RAM owns more than 20 examples of Earl's work, documenting his development. A Racine Art Museum collection study guide is available at the RAM store for $5.

Best candidate to lead city's Health Department can't apply

The best candidate to be the city's next public health administrator isn't qualified to apply for the job.

Marcia Fernholz is working as interim head of the health department for the second time. She took over the department after Janelle Grammer was suspended and eventually fired.

While Fernholz has the support of the Board of Health and the health department employees, she doesn't have the master's degree required by the state for a Level 3 health department, which the city runs. The result: Fernholz can't even apply for the job she's held twice. She also ran the department prior to Grammer being hired.

Dr. William Little, head of the Board of Health, said he's meeting with the mayor to discuss the health administrator position. It's likely the city will initiate a search to fill the position, he said. But he added the city was looking at a few alternatives he couldn't discuss.

Fernholz said she knew she needed a master's degree - she actually needs 16 grad school credits - for the job, but hasn't had time to take the needed classes. For starters, she's too busy trying to run a department with four, soon to be five, unfilled positions.

The Board of Health's meeting Tuesday was its first after the City Council fired Grammer for poor running the city's Health Department. Little said the board first became aware of problems with Grammer last December after then City Administrator Ben Hughes raised questions about her performance. The board didn't hear the problems directly because the public health administrator is technically in charge of the Board of Health meetings. Any employee with a complaint would have had to put their job on the line to take a stand against Grammer.

However, Little said former Mayor Gary Becker told him in 2007 that he was second-guessing his decision to hire Grammer.

Little said he's talked with City Attorney Rob Weber to clarify the Board of Health's role in monitoring the city's Health Department. The board is now in charge of reviewing whether the department is complying with state requirements. Even though Grammer struggled as a manager, Little said, the Health Department still complied with state law.

But with the Grammer saga put to rest, the Health Department does appear to be making rapid progress. For example, the Healthy Births, Healthy Outcomes program that was created to lower the city's high infant mortality rate is finally taking hold. Nurses are visiting the homes of at-risk pregnant women, the city is working with an outside group to monitor infant deaths in Racine and a public information campaign is planned for safe sleeping arrangements.

But Fernholz said the department is still strapped for resources. The department once had a five-member management team to manage public health in Racine. That team is down to two until a public health administrator is hired, she said.

The department is short staffed at a time when the city is facing health challenges. An outbreak of shigella and campylobacter, both forms of bacteria, has spread since it was first reported in May. Health officials said there is no obvious connections between the cases, which have been found in day cares and schools throughout eastern Racine County. While none of the reported cases have been fatal, both bacterias can cause serious health problems for people.

The county also has 41 reported cases of H1N1 flu. Fortunately, none have been fatal. But experts expect the virus's second round this fall will be worse. The city is gearing up to offer a regular flu vaccine as well as a two-shot H1N1 vaccine later this year.

Little said there is no established timeline for hiring a new administrator, but he has met with Mayor Dickert about the position. Fernholz will continue to lead the department until a replacement for Grammer is hired, he said.

If your budget says no to a vacation -- try Racine!

If your budget says no to a vacation... what to do?

That's the question asked by Chicago ABC-7 TV host Janet Davies on July 5. Mark Nilsson, her reporter on the program 190 North, answered it with ... "Racine, a great little getaway with something for everyone."

In a four-minute video report, Nilsson visits North Beach for volleyball, feeds the budgies at the Racine Zoo, samples kringle at Larsen's Bakery, takes in RAM's Dillinger exhibit, eats pizza at Salute and samples Chimay Ale at Shillings. He raves about the city.

We don't find this strange at all. Over the years we've run into hundreds of new visitors to Racine who love our community -- and hundreds of long-time residents who never take advantage of all that's here, preferring to ... well, whine on the blogs.

Which are you? When's the last time you did all (or any!) of the things Nilsson did? Did you watch the Dragon Boat Festival and races last weekend? Did you go to the Monument Square art fair? Music at the Monument, Music & More? Have you seen Honky Tonk Angels at the Theatre Guild yet? (It's been a virtual sellout, but they've just scheduled an extra July 26 matinee.) A Raiders game? BONK!? Gallery Night and First Fridays? Music for the Halibut? RAM or the Wustum Museum? The Racine Symphony?

Trust me: There's so much good stuff going on in Racine, if you just tried to sample the best of it, you wouldn't have time to complain. Here, watch ABC-7's video about Racine and then plan a trip here. You won't regret it!

Raiders' J.R. Taylor out for six weeks after surgery

Racine Raiders running back J.R. Taylor will be out at least six weeks following successful surgery to repair a broken fibula and dislocated ankle suffered in the Raiders' 55-21 victory over the Dubuque Bruisers last Saturday. Taylor had a plate and four screws inserted into his leg.

"I am hoping I can get back for the playoffs," said Taylor. "I have commited to this team and now will be a cheerleader from the sideline."

Taylor, who spent time with the Green Bay Packers, was injured one minute into the third quarter. Taylor took the handoff and rushed over right guard where he was met by two Bruiser defenders who tackled him.

Taylor has rushed 23 times for 149 yards, a 6.5-yard average, and five touchdowns in three games this season. He was an All-American at Eastern Illinois University, playing all four years with Burlington native and Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo.

Lehman makes his case to Racine Taxpayers Assn.

Like Daniel cast into the lions' den, John Lehman appeared Tuesday before the Racine Taxpayers' Association.

Racine's ranking Democrat on the state budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, Lehman did not have an angel watching over him, as Daniel did, and came away from the encounter somewhat mauled. In all fairness, of course, the group has rarely encountered a tax it likes, and in these wrenching economic times the state budget has a lot of them.

Sen. Lehman, D-Racine, spoke for 15 minutes, trying to put the $62 billion budget into perspective. "It has been cut, cut, cut, cut, cut," he said. "If you summarize it, it's bad, it's difficult, it's a struggle." Later he added, "We're in very bad times. But we kept our priorities, we're keeping the ship running."

No "big" taxes were increased, he said, referring to the sales tax, the income tax (except for those who earn more than $300,000 per year), the payroll tax, the gas tax. Lehman conceded that smokers will pay more, and there's a new tax on phone lines. "And the average home in Wisconsin -- worth $167,000 -- its property tax will go up $93 the first year, and $123 the second."

Things could be much worse. "We're not in as bad shape as California, issuing IOUs," he said. Or Oregon, where the fee for auto license plates just went from $54 to $162 per year. Or New Jersey, where property taxes in one community went up 100%.

The Legislature, in fact, made $1.6 billion in state spending cuts, he said, including imposing 16-day unpaid furloughs on state employees. "No Republican administration has ever done what we've done, this level of cuts," he said, acknowledging that "Democrats are everywhere" in Madison -- the Assembly, the Senate, the Governor's office. Although it is illegal to change a legislator's salary during his term of office, Lehman said he is "voluntarily" turning back 3% of his own paycheck each month.

His audience appeared unmoved. The first question involved state debt, and questioned the widely accepted figure of a 6.2% increase in state spending over the next biennium. The questioner insisted the state budget is really going up $19 billion over the next two years -- closer to 30% -- and said he got the figures from Gov. Doyle's own website, perhaps including federal stimulus funds. "I'd have to examine that," Lehman said.

The next two questions concerned the change in the state's "prevailing wage" statute, which is expected to increase the cost of construction in-state, and the elimination of the QEO, which many credit with keeping a lid on teacher salaries and benefits. Lehman, a former teacher, objected to the questioner's characterization of teacher benefits as "Cadillac," but agreed "they do seem to exceed what many people have." He said "teachers have better than average health care" because benefits were protected by the QEO, "but they are not under the new system. I have said to my teacher friends, 'Recognize that these are tough times and don't get greedy.' "

And then things got really nasty. "You seem to have a fear of cutting services," a man told Lehman, calling him out for "your generally Socialist ideas." That remark was met with both agreement and hisses, although Lehman tried gamely to answer the question it led up to -- how to attract businesses into the state -- with a response about how education and quality of life "are major, major considerations." Later he said, "I'm not a Socialist; I'm a fairly centrist member of the Democratic Party."

Then came a softball from a Lehman loyalist who noted the deficits left by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and said of Lehman, "we're lucky to have you; you're the best thing to come along since Les Aspin." If he had stopped there ... but he didn't, adding that the anti-Lehman/ Mason/ Doyle banners flown over the July 4th parade were "very tacky." As for the people who paid for the display, "Shame on them!"

Someone in the audience of about 35 hollered out in response, "Praise to them!" and someone else insisted, "That's why we're letting you speak."

Lehman, noting he marched in the parade with his wife, daughter and granddaughter, responded that the anonymously-sponsored banners "are not analogous to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with John Hancock's big signature. The cowardly person who put this up..."

That statement was interrupted by Jody Harding, one of this spring's candidates for mayor, who yelled out, along with a few others, "I paid for it!"

Lehman said, "The stuff is destructive to you and your liberty." There's a difference, he said, between "being out there in public and being a patriot."

When the discussion got back to taxes, Lehman received thanks for the "1/2% sales tax you didn't give us." That one would have been for KRM, about which Lehman said, "I don't know whether I'm happy with how that ended up."

Lehman noted that 55% of all the money collected by Madison goes back out to county and local municipalities. Wisconsin ranks 4th in the U.S. in the portion of local government spending that is furnished by the state, he said. "When you call for cuts in Madison, it will be passed on. We cut, cut cut ... and now the news is, 'What do we do with the local budgets?' "

One man told Lehman, "You should be more concerned about the 45% that stays in Madison." Another suggested the Legislature do something about "the old boys' club" that runs the technical colleges (which only receive 10% of their budgets from the state). Someone else complained about all the closed sessions that led up to the budget, which Lehman defended as "strategy sessions."

Alderman wants review
of city's employee complaint system

An alderman is concerned over how major problems festered in the city's Health Department with seemingly few people aware of the difficulties.

Alderman Bob Mozol wants to survey city employees about the process for reporting problems and complaints to supervisors or the Human Resources Department.

Mozol said he's concerned the existing process is flawed after sitting through a brutal hearing that resulted in Public Health Administrator Janelle Grammer being fired. Several Health Department employees testified that Grammer was incompetent and the department was being run poorly in recent years.

Mozol said it was unfortunate city employees had to put their careers on the line by testifying at an open hearing against their boss. The problems should have been dealt with sooner, he said. Instead, at least one employee who raised concerns about Grammer was retaliated against. "Nothing was getting done," Mozol said.

He requested the survey from the Personnel and Finance Committee. The committee deferred action to do more preliminary work on the survey and to invite other city staff to the meeting.

Mozol said it could take some digging to restore faith in the city's complaint system. The survey could be an important first step in uncovering problems.

"We'll see how deep it goes?" he said.

Differing visions raise questions about Sixth Street club

Thomas Holmes (right) appears during Monday's Public Safety and Licensing Committee meeting.

Alderman Jim Kaplan took a minute out of the Public Safety and Licensing Committee Monday night to give some business advice to the operator of Park 6 club on Sixth Street.

"Stop advertising," he told Thomas Holmes, who was called before the committee for complaints about his club. "It's having a negative impact on your business."

The advice came while the committee reviewed four police reports, all for fights, in or near the club in the last six months. A police officer was injured in one of the incidents after a private security officer responding to the fight forget to put his car in park and it rolled into the officer.

Committee members essentially told Holmes his club was too successful and he may want to consider moving out of its building at Sixth Street and Park Avenue. The club is drawing large crowds late on Friday and Saturday nights.

"It seems like you're a victim of your own success," said Alderman Aron Wisneski, chairman of the committee.

Holmes, who agreed to make changes to please the committee, offered a different vision for Sixth Street. He pointed to Brady Street in Milwaukee where night clubs, stores and condos coexist late into the night.

"That's my idea coming from Milwaukee," said Holmes, who envisioned people shopping in clothing stores until 10 at night and then stopping at clubs with live music throughout Downtown.

But Kaplan shared two letters from city residents who offered a different vision for Sixth Street. They suggested small, artisan shops on the street could prosper, but out-of-town business owners may be scared off by a rowdy night club.

Kaplan added that he warned the council about allowing a former furniture store - the building's last tenant - become a club. "I don't want to say, 'I told you so,'" he said.

Holmes, who appeared at the hearing with his attorney, agreed to install additional digital cameras and work on security. He also noted that he's now closing early at 1:30 a.m. (as opposed to 2:45 a.m.), which has helped control crowds.

Holmes said a change in the bar's crowd over the last four months has increased the security challenges. The first six months his place was open was a predominantly white crowd. But in recent months the crowd became predominantly African-American, Holmes said. He attributed the change to other bars closing and their patrons looking for a new place to hangout.

"As other establishments broke off, the African-American community turned out," Holmes said. "We saw the change."

Park 6 charges a $5 cover on Saturday nights, including $10 for anyone who leaves and wants to come back in. It's also turned down large parties - and thousands of dollars in business - because it was concerned about the crowd, Holmes said.

Wisneski also asked Holmes about food served in the bar. The original agreement with the city called for a restaurant, but Park 6 doesn't serve food.

Holmes said the original person he was working with to start the restaurant left. He now has a new partner, has installed all of the needed kitchen equipment and should be up and running by next Friday.

Following the meeting, which ended with a deal that Holmes would work with police and the city attorney's office on a written agreement, a Park 6 supporter told Holmes he may need to re-examine his approach to the bar.

"You're from Milwaukee," she said. "This isn't Milwaukee."

North side church hopes for discount to use Horlick Field

Children from Iglesia Canaan attended Monday's Personnel and Finance Committee meeting.

A local church may get a discount to use Horlick Field for an event the hope will reduce crime and other negative activities in the area.

Iglesia Canaan, 1119 Kewaunee St., is hoping to use the field Aug. 21-22 for music, speakers and other events. Church officials estimated 150-200 people would attend.

The church, which brought about 25 children to the committee hearing, appeared before the Personnel and Finance Committee Monday hoping to get the fee for use of Horlick Field waived. The field costs $1,271 per day to rent for events.

The committee was reluctant to waive the entire fee and tried to steer the church towawrd a second site, Douglas Park, which costs less to rent. Church officials initially said Douglas Park was acceptable, but when pressed, said they would prefer Horlick Field because of the nearby parking and safer setting.

The committee then voted to charge Iglesia Canaan a one-day fee for the two-day event. If approved by the City Council, the church would have the field all-day Friday, but only in the morning on Sunday because of a football game that night.

Alderman Q.A. Shakoor II said Iglesia Canaan's efforts were "commendable." He said it was important for faith-based organizations to get involved in their neighborhoods to reduce crime and improve the quality of life.

The reduced fee now moves to the full council for consideration. The proposal could run into opposition, committee members warned the church. Some alderman oppose reducing city fees and could object to cutting the Horlick Field rental cost in half.

Iglesia Canaan was represented at the meeting by Mildred Cordova and the Rev. Olla Rios.

Aldermen lean toward appointing 10th District council member

Chatter among aldermen suggests the council is leaning toward appointing a replacement for Tom Friedel to represent the 10th aldermanic district, which is located in the southeast corner of the city.

Aldermen Jim Spangenberg, QA Shakoor II and Bob Mozol kicked it around Monday night while waiting for the Personnel and Finance Committee to reach quorum. Alderman Bob Anderson was running late for the meeting, Alderman Mike Shields was on vacation and Tom Friedel's spot on the committee is vacant because Friedel resigned to become the city administrator.

Friedel's seat won't be up for election until April. The council could leave the seat vacant until then, but another alderman would have to address constituent issues until then. It's also one less person to sit on committees and handle city business.

"It's a long stretch without an alderman," Spangenberg said.

Shakoor added about leaving the seat vacant for 10 months: "We can't do this."

Mozol, who was waiting to address an issue before the committee, said the seat should be filled to avoid problems like the lack of a quorum at meetings.

July 13, 2009

Boxer puppy Oobie looking for an active home

Good news from Countryside Humane Shelter -- Josephine the cat has been adopted! It took more than a month, but the once skinny, bald cat has found a new home.

So now we move on to Oobie, a one-year-old female Boxer mix. Oobie is rusty brown with white and black, a lively puppy-ish young dog who is fun to be with.

Countryside tells us she would do best in a family who is active with their pet, likes going to dog parks, playing catch or going for walks. She would also be OK for someone committed to training and able to take a dog to doggie day care. She needs exercise and companionship. She is an affectionate dog who really enjoys being with people.

To meet Oobie, call or visit the Countryside Humane Society at 2706 Chicory Road, or call (262) 554-6699.

Three sworn in as Gateway district board members

Pierce, Zacharias and Vail, l-r

R. Scott Pierce, Roger Zacharias and Rebecca Vail were sworn in Monday as members of the Gateway Technical College District Board of Trustees.

Pierce is a newly appointed board member, Zacharias is returning to the board after a one-year absence, and Vail was reappointed to her seat. The three were appointed to three-year terms to run from 2009-12. Zacharias served on the board 2004-08.

Pierce is the district administrator for Central High School District of Westosha, Vail is the district administrator for Twin Lakes School District #4 and Zacharias is a business representative/organizer for Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters.

The three were selected by an appointment committee made up of chairpersons of the Kenosha County, Racine County, and Elkhorn County boards of supervisors.

Selected to serve as board officers were: Fred Burkhardt, trustee board chairperson; Zacharias, vice-chairperson; Vail, secretary; and Suzanne Henkel Deans, treasurer.

Ryan raises $375,000 in 3 months; has $1,283,004

Congressman Paul Ryan continues to pile money into his campaign chest.

Rep. Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, reported today having $1,283,004 in his campaign fund. He collected $375,000 in the past three months. (Last year's Ryan challenger, Democrat Marge Krupp, raised a total of $126,894 before the election, and now reports a debt of $5,570.)

Ryan, serving his sixth term, says 95% of his "individual contributor" donations come from Wisconsin, and 82% of his donors contributed $100 or less. Ryan says he has added more than 2,000 new donors in the past 12 months.

Looking over his latest FEC report, we see a veritable Who's Who of Racine's top business leaders supporting Ryan. Among the easily recognized names and their donations from the past three months are:
Craig Leipold, $500, married to Helen Johnson-Leipold
Jerry Franke, $500, Wispark
Fred Young, $500, Young Radiator
Alan Ruud, $500, Ruud Lighting
Michael Batten, $500, Twin Disc
Russell Weyers, $500, Johnson Financial
H. Fisk Johnson, $500, SC Johnson
David Eberle, $500, Norco Mfg.
Jim Eastman, $500, Merchants Moving
Ken Buser, $500, All Saints
In a statement Ryan issued with his campaign finance report, he says:
“Out of touch politicians in Washington think they can tax, spend and borrow beyond our means to solve every problem. Wisconsinites know better and are supporting my efforts to stop across the board tax increases, runaway government spending and unsustainable borrowing.

“Supporters of the common sense solutions I’ve proposed want to share my message with all voters. We need to keep jobs in America, guarantee access to health insurance, simplify our tax code and improve Social Security and Medicare.

“We need to stop pushing our jobs overseas. Having the second highest corporate tax rate in the world make it harder for businesses to keep jobs in the U.S. We can provide everyone with health care coverage if we allocate the $2.4 trillion a year we currently spend on health care more wisely. And, we must change our confusing and unfair tax code, so that it rewards saving, investing and job creation.

“I believing in practicing principled representation, which means saying what you are going to do and then doing it. My number one priority is looking out for the best interests of everyone I was elected to serve in Wisconsin. I am grateful for the out pouring of support I have received from people in all walks of life—working men and women, small business owners, unions and seniors. They are my employers and I never forget that.

“Those who oppose my reform efforts will accuse me of obstructing their attempts to put more power, money and decision making under the control of the federal government. The voters of Wisconsin are demanding alternatives to the path we are on as a country. Their donations are a clear indication that they support the solutions I am offering and that they want me to have the means to promote the work I am doing for them.”

July 12, 2009

Rally for health care reform Friday during lunchtime

Community for Change is organizing a lunchtime rally in Downtown Racine Friday in favor of health care reform. Here's a press release from the group, which describes the event as "non-partisan":
Racine Rallies to Rock Health Care Reform

Friday, July 17th 2009

The public is invited to join local and state organizations to rally in support of health care reform. The Wisconsin Health Care Reform Campaign, Organizing for America and community leaders from across southeastern Wisconsin will host a lunch time rally on Friday at 11:30 am in East Park, located at 1001 South Main St. Participants will walk down to Monument Square to enjoy Music on the Monument.

This rally is a non‐partisan event intended to bring attention to health care reform currently being debated in Washington D.C. and demonstrate the strong community desire for a plan that reduces costs, guarantees choice of coverage and ensures quality care for all. No specific health care plan or path is endorsed.

Participants who are currently uninsured or under‐insured are asked to wear red. Banners or signs may be brought, however, organizers ask attendees to make them tasteful and suitable for all ages. For questions or more information please go to OFAofSEWI@gmail.com

Raiders, rise to 3-0; pound Bruisers, 55-21

The Racine Raiders (3-0) faced their first test of the 2009 season Saturday night at Horlick Field as the Dubuque Bruisers (2-1) traveled to Racine to open the Raiders' 2009 North American Football League (NAFL) season.

The Raiders wasted little time. Running back Bryan Jennings, Jr., scored on an 11-yard touchdown run eight minutes into the game. The Ben Aguilar kick was good and Racine staked claimto an early 7-0 lead.

The teams battled back-and-forth, until Jennings scored on his second romp, an eight-yard touchdown run, with 9:11 to play in the first half, giving Racine a 14-0 lead.

Cornerback Donald Woodard, who just joined the Raiders this week following the indoor season, picked off a Jamar Jackson pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown with four minutes to play in the half, giving the Raiders a 21-0 lead.

With just under one minute left to play in the half, Jackson hit Marvin Mabry on a 45-yard touchdown pass. The kick was good and the Raiders' lead was cut to 21-7.

Less than 30 seconds later, Bruiser cornerback Adam Kaiser intercepted a Ron Ricciardi pass and returned it 40 yards to the Raiders' five-yard line. Two plays later, Jackson connected with Mabry again, this time on a seven-yard touchdown pass. A two-point pass attempt fell incomplete, following two penalties on the Bruisers. The Raiders went into halftime leading 21-13, but the momentum had switched in favor of Dubuque.

The Raiders came out in the second half and marched down the field. The drive eventually stalled and an Aguilar 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. The Bruisers took immediate advantage of the opportunity, scoring on an18-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Torrey Smith. Jackson ran in the two-point conversion and the game was tied four minutes into the second half.

The Raiders would respond, thanks to the third rushing score by Jennings, a 21-yard attempt, with 7:33 to play in the third quarter. Aguilar's kick was good and the Raiders led 28-21 and would never look back.

Defensive coordinator Alex Powell went away from using his normal defensive linemen on the line and switched to linebackers, allowing the Raiders to get more pressure on Jackson and neutralize his running ability.

Following a defensive stop, fullback Adam Chorazy pounded his way through Bruiser defenders on a three-yard touchdown run with 1:50 to play in the third. The Aguilar kick was good and the Raiders led 35-21.

Following another defensive stop, quarterback Virgil McNeil finished off a Raiders drive with a two-yard bootleg run to the right side. The Aguilar kick was blocked and the Raiders led 41-21 early in the fourth quarter.

On the next drive, defensive back Will Norwood tipped a Jackson pass and came down with the deflection himself. He raced 38 yards for his second interception return for a touchdown in two games. The Aguilar kick was good and the Raiders led 48-21 with 11:23 to play in the game.

Both teams recorded defensive stops. On their next drive, the Raiders got down to the 15-yard line. Aguilar came on to attempt a 32-yard field goal, but the Raiders ran a fake instead. Cornerback Eric Feest, who holds for kick attempts, rolled to his right and found running back Demetrius Thompson open in the end zone. The Aguilar kick was good and the Raiders walked away with a 55-21 victory and remain undefeated.

Jennings rushed for 103 yards, his second straight game over 100 yards. Sam D'Alie led Raiders receivers with three catches for 75 yards. The Raiders defense held Jackson to 222 yards passing and 28 yards rushing. They also forced five Bruiser turnovers in the game.

Running back J.R. Taylor was taken off the field in an ambulance following an apparent ankle injury in the third quarter. His status is unknown.

The Raiders are on the road next week against the Chicago Wolverines at Alonzo Stagg Field on the University of Chicago campus next Saturday at 7 p.m