Here are the details on the Small Business Paycheck Protection Plan

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I just received an email from Scale Up Milwaukee sharing details about the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Plan.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.

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From the email:

Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply.

Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.

Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap. 

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of participating lenders, as well as additional information and full terms, can be found at

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Milwaukee’s National Bobblehead Museum is releasing a Dr. Fauci bobblehead

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The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, based in Milwaukee, has announced a new bobblehead and, no, it isn’t a sports celebrity. It’s one of the country’s most recognizable doctor of 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Fuaci has become the face of reason during the COVID-19 pandemic and to many, he has become a hero.

According to the press release, the museum will donate $5 from every Dr. Fauci Bobblehead sold to the American Hospital Association in support of the 100 Million Mask Challenge. The bobbleheads are now available for pre-order via the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store and they cost $25 each plus shipping. 

We’ve postponed our membership drive to bring you uninterrupted programming, but your support is more crucial than ever to keep us on air. If you’re able to, please make a gift to help 88Nine continue providing music, stories, and positivity!

The bobblehead will feature Dr. Fauci wearing a is trademark suit and demonstrating how the nation needs to “flatten the curve” with his right hand.

“Bobbleheads are the ultimate honor, and we think Dr. Fauci deserves it given what he has done and continues to do for our country and the world in the battle against COVID-19,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “We received a lot of requests for a bobblehead of Dr. Fauci and are excited to be able to use the bobblehead to raise funds for a vital organization that is helping limit the spread of the Coronavirus while making people smile during these unprecedented times.”

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Introducing “Wanna Grab Coffee?”

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Lakefront Brewery’s iconic fish fry returns this Friday

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With all the uncertainty going on, it is nice to see a Milwaukee staple is returning to bring a little bit of comfort and sanity to our lives. Starting this Friday, Lakefront Brewery will bring back its iconic fish fry adapted for these trying times.

From the press release:

“Our world is a bit sideways currently, but we’re here with other great, local restaurants trying to bring back some good old normal,” said Lakefront Co-Founder and President, Russ Klisch. “We look forward to a full brewery with a full staff, but until then we must take steps forward. We hope folks come on down, grab some food and beer to go and feel good.”

We’ve postponed our membership drive to bring you uninterrupted programming, but your support is more crucial than ever to keep us on air. If you’re able to, please make a gift to help 88Nine continue providing music, stories, and positivity!

Lakefront is taking orders on only. The Brewery will be offering the grab-n-go food and beer from 3pm to 8pm with the last order being accepted at 7:30. Both ordering and paying is taking place online, and 30 minutes later a bag will be ready for pickup at the Brewery. The Friday Fish Fry menu is online at:

“If people pre-order this Thursday beginning at 11am, they will get a free take-n-bake pretzel,” added Lakefront’s Executive Chef Kristin Hueneke. “And we’ll be offering a new entrée special each week.” Indeed, fans can pre-order their fish fry on Thursday, April 2nd beginning at 11am. And on Friday, they can order online up until 7:30pm (for pick up by 8pm). 

And starting next Tuesday, April 7th, Lakefront Brewery’s grab-n-go food will be available every Tuesday through Saturday from 3pm to 8pm. Yes, you can have Lakefront cheese curds 5 days-a-week.”

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MCTS will be suspending bus fares starting this Saturday due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Starting this Saturday, March 28, at 4 a.m., Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) will be suspending bus fares to protect the drivers and the riding public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Riders must enter and exit the bus through the rear door only, unless they need assistance with a mobility device or other ADA accommodation.

From the press release:

“While Congress works to create a new Federal Transit Administration grant program to help transit systems sustain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, MCTS is doing its part to help ensure continuation of mass transit in Milwaukee County in this time of need,” said MCTS Managing Director, Dan Boehm.

Public transportation is considered ‘essential infrastructure’ by federal, state and local officials. To prevent community spread of COVID-19, health officials and MCTS are asking anyone who uses public transportation during the current health emergency to limit non-essential travel, leave at least six feet of space between themselves and others (including bus drivers), and follow proper hygiene recommendations like washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.

MCTS is committed to keeping employees and passengers safe. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic earlier this month:

  • MCTS implemented an extra daily disinfection process on all buses using EPA-approved and CDC-recommended cleaning products. That’s in addition to the standard cleaning that vehicles receive on a regular basis.
  • MCTS encouraged riders to limit non-essential travel on MCTS buses, use an electronic fare payment (M-CARD or app) rather than paying cash, and exit through the back door to limit the time that passengers are near the driver’s compartment.
  • MCTS reminded passengers that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises anyone with fever, cough or shortness of breath to not go out in public, and to not take public transportation.
  • MCTS reduced the level of weekday bus service.  This means fewer bus drivers need to be on the road at any given time.
  • MCTS provided disinfectant solutions and cleaning cloths to bus drivers to ensure that they can clean their workspace throughout the day. There is a global shortage for common supplies, like gloves, sanitizing wipes and sanitizing gels. As these items become available, they are distributed to workers. 
  • MCTS uses all available communication channels to inform employees and the general public of steps they can take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing

Additional updates about MCTS can be found at Important information is also available on Milwaukee County’s website and from the CDC at

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Clever, DIY ways to keep kids occupied while staying at home

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While my colleague Justin Barney is loving this time at home – catching up on movies and music – I am struggling! As an extrovert and a single mom of two kids (ages 3 and 6), I find that each day of this isolation is challenging for me.

I’ve rearranged my home to make room for my “office.” I’ve swept and vacuumed and reswept and revacuumed. I’ve disinfected. I even online grocery shopped for the first time – and forgot a bunch of stuff, of course.

Add work on top of every day life? I’ve researched new virtual meeting platforms to accommodate physical distancing. I’ve seen more of my face on my computer screen than I would ever have liked. I’ve had to get used to emailing instead of walking across the office to talk to my coworkers.

Add kids on top of that? I feel like we’ve done a bit of everything, art projects, scooter-ing in the house, baking, painting in the bathtub, movie nights, sleepovers on the floor, reading, etc., etc., etc. I think I’ve made more hot cocoa this past week and half than I have in my entire life.

Between our daily tussles to put actual outfits and to brush Penny’s hair and to eat meals at semi-regular times, I find it difficult to keep in mind that this isolation is hard for them too. Penny and Dashiell can’t go out and play with our next-door neighbors, so we’ve resorted to changing up our window art displays so they can look at our new projects when they go outside (we have mermaids, flowers, and a cast of characters in our windows now, they have dinosaurs). We’ve spent a lot of time on FaceTime with Dashiell’s friend from school and my parents – Mimsy and Grummin (watching my parents deal with this technology is absolutely hilarious). And they’ve probably had more time with their tablets than recommended.

I’ve resorted to virtual happy hours with my friends, riding my new exercise bike daily, daydreaming about living in Wales because of a show I’m watching, but then realizing I would butcher the pronunciation of every person and place.

Balancing my kids’ needs, my needs, work, and daily household tasks is a work in progress, but I’m doing my best to remember, and not always so gracefully, that this is new territory for everyone. I am continually trying to figure out ways to engage my kids in projects so I can have extended moments of concentration. So, if you’re looking for ways to distract your littles, here is a “recipe” book of doughs, paints and projects!

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Local poets share their words during World Poetry Day

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Poetry is music in language. Poetry is play. Poetry is exploration. Poetry is emotion.

For the past 21 years, World Poetry Day has been celebrated on March 21, emphasizing the power of poetry to reaffirm “our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings.”

In these times of physical distancing, it is important to continue to share our creativity and our thoughts with one another. So, in the spirit of World Poetry Day, we’re sharing poetry submitted by some talented, local Wisconsinites in the hopes that you might find some comfort in their words.

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Digging in and enjoying it

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On Thursdays I take music calls. Which just means I’m on the phone with music industry people all morning talking about new projects and it’s fun because I know them, and it’s a little catch up and all that, and, of course, everyone asked me how I’m doing and I told them a little sheepishly, that I feel guilty at how much I love quarantine.

I’ve always thought that working from home would be torture. I really love going into the office. I like a space. I like walking from my desk to the conference room with a mug of coffee in my hand and a pace that says, “I’m doing something important.” I thought mixing work and home would feel like I’m never off the clock, but honestly, when did it anyway?

There is time now.

The view from home

My entire life I’ve amassed a collection of records that is testing the structural integrity of my floorboards and I’ve thought maybe I’ll finally get to listen to all them if there were a worldwide pandemic and I was quarantined at home for an indefinite amount of time. This morning I listened to a Crosby, Stills & Nash record that my dad gave me out of his collections when I was 18. I’d never played it before.

I love food writing. But I’ve never felt that I had the romance brims from Jonathan Gold or Julia Child’s writing. But on the first day of quarantine I spent three hours making a chicken broth from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and then I texted my mom to get the recipe of my great grandma’s dumplings and I think maybe I didn’t feel that romance before because I hadn’t spent enough time with the actual food.

And I know that I am in a place of privilege here. My job seems safe (at the moment, and I have certainly been suppressing that thought.) I can work from home. My job is my life. That is why I feel guilt of saying that I’ve been absolutely joyous. Which is a surprise because I live alone. I am utterly by myself (expect for my cat Slim Jim.) But now, I don’t feel lonely because I’m not going somewhere after work. That pressure is gone.

In this world that has constantly been pushing for more more more, I have been overwhelmed. I haven’t been able to keep up. There is never time to just listen to an album, mow down that instant queue, or make soup, but now there is, and I’m positively joyous.

Tonight, I’m finally going watch “Midnight Cowboy.”

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Watch Trixie Mattel attempt to make strawberry shortcake in Bon Appétit’s test kitchen

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In addition to being one of the most famous drag performers in the world, Trixie Mattel is quite possibly the world’s least qualified James Beard Award nominee — she was nominated in the humor category for a video where she struggled to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

In her latest cooking video, she’s back in the kitchen trying to make something a good deal more ambitious than a PB&J: Bon Appétit shared a video of the Milwaukee native learning to make strawberry shortcake.

We won’t spoil it but the results aren’t as disastrous as you might imagine, although there are some make-up mishaps along the way. You can watch the video below.

In case you missed it, you can listen to our interview with Trixie where she shares her admiration for the Courtney Love deep cut “Boys on the Radio.”

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PrideFest has been postponed

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PrideFest’s organizers have announced that this year’s festival has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival had been scheduled for June 4-7 at the Summerfest grounds. 

“Have no fear, we are currently working on alternative dates and options to produce the world class event you’re used to,” the festival’s president Wesley Shaver wrote in an email Wednesday. “Milwaukee will exercise Pride in 2020. We are committed to working with our community partners while ensuring the safety and security of our festival attendees and public as our first priority.”

PrideFest | File photo

The festival was coming off of its biggest year ever, drawing a record 45,787 people at last year’s event.

“It’s unfortunate that we need to hit the pause button, considering the significant work our team has already put forth, as well as the incredible and diverse line up we had planned for our stages,” PrideFest producer Luke Olson said in a statement. “I’m confident that once we have a new plan for this year’s festival we’ll be able to pick things up where we left off.”

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