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a.MKE The List: Common Pitch Milwaukee & Milwaukee's Armed Forces Week Celebration: Today’s Top Stories

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With the partisan primary over, gubernatorial candidates Tom Barrett and Scott Walker are looking ahead to the general recall election on June 5th. Both candidates agreed to two debates, one scheduled for May 25th and other May 31st. Both debates will be televised statewide. Governor Walker’s campaign said, “Walker is excited to discuss the positive effects that the bold reforms put in place last year have brought to the people of Wisconsin and how those reforms are moving the state forward.” Mayor Barrett’s campaign said, “Barrett is eager to meet face-to-face with Walker to quote “compare our records and our visions on jobs before the people of Wisconsin.”

Common Pitch Milwaukee is an organization that aims to involve entrepreneurs in reshaping American business and it’s looking for eight socially conscious start-ups to pitch their ideas at an event this June. The start-ups will have five minutes each to pitch their idea to a panel of judges as we as live and digital audiences. The chosen start-ups will compete for “cash, prizes and glory.” The event will be held during Milwaukee’s Innovation Week at Turner Hall Ballroom. The application deadline was yesterday but the public is invited to attend. More details can be found at www.commonpitchmke.com.  

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is presenting: Bike to Work Week. It started this past Saturday and runs through the 18th. The bike federation is partnering up with local businesses and non-profits to make the workweek a fun and active experience. The Milwaukee Bicycle Collective will be volunteering at the Alterra Foundry’s Commuter Station throughout the entire week. The group will be looking for volunteers to help spread the word about the bike collective, help with minor repairs and help teach people how to fix their flats.

MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton is proposing a fund that ensures schools have at least one arts, music or physical education instructor. The AMP proposal will allocate money to all MPS schools according to school size. At the very minimum, small schools would get enough money to fund one of the three programs for its students one day a week. Thornton described the AMP fund as the district’s down payment in an initiative it hopes to expand so schools eventually can offer all three subjects. Thornton said, “You’ve got to start somewhere, and this is our start.” The school board is expected to vote on the full budget proposal in June.

This past Saturday was the 20th Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. It’s the nation’s largest one-day food drive event. Here in Milwaukee, over 1,200 letter carriers from rural and urban post offices picked up bags of donated food along their routes. Then over 80 volunteers sorted through food donations on site at local post offices as letter carriers return with mail full of food. The Hunger Task Force will be delivering the food to area food pantries and soup kitchens free of charge. Last year, over 3 million pounds of food were collected throughout Wisconsin and the U.P.

The Milwaukee Armed Services Committee is teaming up with local area restaurants to offer all active, reserve and veteran personnel, special discounts during lunch and dinner hours all this week. It’s part of Milwaukee’s Armed Forces Week celebration. Personnel just need to show a valid military ID. This is the second year the committee and local restaurants have joined together to support our local troops. Other week highlights include a two-day military display, luncheons and dinners for military personnel, a golf outing and a Harley Davidson troop ride.