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AMKE: The List 9-22-11

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1. AMKE News Rundown

Republican US Senator Ron Johnson is running for Vice Chair of the Republican Conference. The conference is the chief organization for Republican members in the US Senate. If Vice Chair, Johnson would address our fiscal crisis and communicate how urgent the problem is. Tennessee US Senator Lamar Alexander is the current chairman but he’s going to resign in January.

The Board of Zoning Appeals is expected to review UW-Milwaukee’s plans to build a new school of freshwater sciences during a meeting today. UWM needs board approval in order to build because the three story, 92,000 square-foot building would be higher than what is allowed. Construction for the school would start in May 2012 and it would be housed at UWM’s Great Lakes Water Institute on Greenfield Avenue.

Bay View will soon be home to an iconic public art piece. Plans to commission this major work of art are in the works and it will also serve as a Milwaukee County Transit bus top. The site is a small triangle near the intersection of South KK, East Lincoln Ave and South Howell. So if you're familiar with Cafe Lulu, Boulevard Theater and Stone Creek Coffee, then you know where to find it. The budget for this may be up to $200,000. The ad hoc committee wants this to be a highly visible piece of art representing the character of the neighborhood.

The House rejected a bill giving $3.7 billion for disaster relief as part of a measure to keep the government running through mid-November. Democrats opposed the bill because it had $1.5 billion in cuts to a government loan program that helps car companies build fuel-efficient vehicles. The result now sends lawmakers back to the drawing board. They need to come to a decision by the end of the week or the Disaster Relief Program could run out of money by next Friday.

According to a new report from the Workforce Development Department, Milwaukee gained 1,100 new jobs in August. The report showed a mix of trends across the state, with 12 metro areas seeing decreases in their unemployment rates from July to August.

Good news for Wisconsin's UW colleges, enrollment is up 1.6% this year over last. The growth marks the seventh straight year that enrollment has risen in the UW system’s network of freshman and sophomore campuses. Roughly 1,500 students enrolled on UW colleges online. That’s a 19% increase. Would you rather attend school on an actual campus or enroll in all online classes?