The trail blazing legacy of Penny Marshall, aka Laverne of ‘Laverne & Shirley’

The trail blazing legacy of Penny Marshall, aka Laverne of ‘Laverne & Shirley’

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Penny Marshall as Laverne

Penny Marshall as Laverne with the signature “L” embroidered on her shirt.

The “Happy Days” spinoff series, “Laverne & Shirley,” was not only a success for Marshall’s acing and comedy gold. It’s also where she began her directing career, directing several episodes of the show.

She went on to blaze trails as a filmmaker. “Big” made Marshall the first female director in Hollywood history to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.

Two years later, with “Awakenings,” Marshall became the second woman director to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.

Then, “A League Of Their Ownbecame some of her best work when she told the true story of the first female professional baseball league and made an iconic sports movie.

Marshall is gone now, but her legacy and work will continue to inspire, warm hearts and make people laugh for generations to come.

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Ways to give back in Milwaukee this holiday season

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Spend a day volunteering in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel keeps up a weekly listing of short-term volunteer opportunities in Milwaukee County. From driving around elderly residents at the Lutheran Home to stocking the food pantry at Friedens Community Ministries, there are plenty of places you can lend a hand.

You can also call Volunteer Milwaukee, a service of the Nonprofit Center, at (414) 273-7887 or visit its website here for more information on all the current volunteering opportunities in the city.

And, check out the organization’s holiday volunteer guide here for seasonal opportunities to shovel snow for older adults, make holiday crafts or spread holiday cheer with music.

Give to a holiday toy drive

Help brighten a child’s holiday season by donating a present in a toy drive. You can find donation bins at many stores across Milwaukee.

Make an in-kind donation to a Milwaukee shelter

Shelters like the Milwaukee Rescue Mission are always in need of donations of personal care items, food items and clothing items. This time of year, they are especially in need of winter clothing like scarves, insulated gloves, pajamas, socks, men’s long underwear and winter jackets for men and women sizes large-XXL.

Other shelters in Milwaukee (with links to their needs and how to donate) include:

As a bonus, many of these organizations have volunteering opportunities of varying levels of commitment.

Serve a meal

Help cook and serve hot meals to Milwaukee’s hungry by volunteering with community meal organizations like The Gathering, St. Ben’s Community Meal, St. Vincent de Paul Meal Program and more.

Volunteer with animals

Care for animals at the Wildlife in Need Center, volunteer and/or foster an animal at Happy Endings No Kill Cat Shelter, Wisconsin Humane Society, Second Hand Purrs, Milwaukee Pets Alive or MADACC.

Another idea: If you have a well-behaved dog at home that completes a certification as a therapy animal, you two can volunteer together. Places like Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care look for pet therapy volunteers for hospice patients.

Share your skills on Catchafire

You can use your professional experience and skills to make a difference on Catchafire. Share your expert advice with nonprofits through consulting phone calls or volunteer to work on projects like helping an organization build a website, make a brochure, etc.

Become a tutor

Volunteer at the YWCA Southeast Wisconsin and tutor adult learners in writing and math or teach a class on computer skills, interview skills and more.

Other places to volunteer as a tutor:

Become a youth mentor

Consider working with and inspiring an individual as a long-term volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters Milwaukee or as a mentor at the Boys & Girls Club of Milwaukee.

Other mentorship programs:

Or search for a program with MENTOR Greater Milwaukee (MGM).

Clean up

Environmental organizations don’t go completely dormant in the winter. Check out volunteering opportunities at  River Revitalization FoundationKeep Greater Milwaukee BeautifulThe Urban Ecology Center and Surfrider Foundation Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee’s Shops of Grand Avenue will get a second life as ‘The Avenue’

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The Avenue, Milwaukee, Grand Avenue

In addition to the food hall, engineering firm Graef will relocate its headquarters to the third floor of the mall, formerly the food court of the Shops of Grand Avenue. According to the Business Journal, the new headquarters will bring 170 jobs to The Avenue and occupy 35,000 square feet of space.

3rd Street Market Food Hall

3rd Street Market Food Hall

During the press conference, they announced the first round of food vendors to locate to the food hall named 3rd Street Market includes Stone Creek Coffee, Milk Can (a startup concept by Milwaukee chef Kurt Fogle and the team behind Muskego’s Bass Bay Brewhouse), Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Donut Monster, Char’d and Waterford Wine & Spirits.

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These cute Milwaukee park maps designed by local artists make a perfect gift

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Southshore Park

South Shore Park By Dwellephant

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Instead of waiting in Black Friday lines, shop these Milwaukee small business sales

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Celebrate the other Record Store Day

Exclusive Co. in Milwaukee

Shop Milwaukee’s great independent record stores for great sales, deals and special Record Store Day releases on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Here’s a list of special releases for Black Friday and a list of the Milwaukee record stores participating.

#BuyBlack Friday at Bronzeville Collective

This year, you should #BuyBlack and #ShopSmall with Bronzeville Collective’s series of holiday sales from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. On Friday, enjoy sales from all its anchor brands: Papyrus & CharmsFlyBlooms by Funky Fly FlowerChildDistinctive Designs by Tomira and from Jasmine Barmore, the artist in residence.

Other Friday specials include: a free tote grab bag to the first 40 shoppers with a purchase over $25, a free glass of your favorite wine as you shop and more.

Shop Milwaukee Startups

Startup Milwaukee’s TANGIBLE program is celebrating the launch of the Nest Pop-up shop on Small Business Saturday. This new retail establishment run by Marquette students features products from local entrepreneurs from throughout the community and some who have participated in past TANGIBLE events. Most importantly, all will be offering great gifts.

The shop will open for Small Business Saturday at 10 a.m. and there is a celebration until noon, however the store will remain open until 6 p.m.

Here are the companies participating in the pop-up shop:

Drink Beer

Drinking is always a reliable backup plan in Milwaukee—and Black Friday (or should we say blackout Friday?) is no exception. In 2012, Lakefront Brewery started a Milwaukee tradition when they released a specialty beer on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, 33 breweries and other businesses across the city will have special releases available on Black Friday. Here’s a complete list of the events.

Give back on Good Karma Friday

On Black Friday, some Milwaukee shops are participating in Good Karma Friday where a portion of the proceeds of your purchase go to select charities.

Participating stores include:

Stroll around the Third Ward

Almost all the shops in the Third Ward are participating in Small Business Saturday. Skip the mall and walk the sidewalks instead to support these local businesses and find something unique. Here’s a list of all the stores participating and the deals they’re offering.

Support local businesses on Small Business Saturday

Shop all the other small and local shops in Milwaukee on Saturday. Here’s a list of shops with links to any details about their deals:

This list is just a start, we recommend scoping out all the shops in your neighborhood on Saturday.

Get generous on Giving Tuesday

Right after Cyber Monday is one shopping holiday you might not know about—Giving Tuesday, a day to make donations and give to charity. If you’re feeling generous, or would like to donate on someone’s behalf as a gift, consider giving to one of the many great Milwaukee charity organizations and non-profits. (We’re one of them, by the way.)

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In one weekend, these developers created apps using hacking for a better Milwaukee

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The group


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Are this year’s Bucks alternate jerseys hideous or historic?

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bucks new jerseys

The alternate versions of 2018-2019 Milwaukee Bucks uniforms (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Bucks’ 2018-19 City Edition uniform celebrates the bright colors that became synonymous with NBA basketball in Milwaukee during one of the franchise’s most successful stretches from the late ’70s through the mid ’80s while at the MECCA.

mecca floor

MECCA floor, completed in 1997

The Bucks will wear the daring and striking uniform 12 times during the season: six times at Fiserv Forum on all remaining Milwaukee Mondays and on two late-season Sunday games, in addition to six times on the road. The uniform will make its debut on Monday, November 19 when the Bucks host the Denver Nuggets at the Fiserv Forum.

You can get your hands on this City Edition jersey and additional merchandise on Thursday, November 8 exclusively at the Bucks Pro Shop inside Fiserv Forum and at

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Hey Milwaukee! It’s Election Day. Here’s everything you need to know

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As far as the candidates, we’ve created a comprehensive voter guide to help you prepare to make your decisions at the polls.

Pioneer Press: Liam James Doyle

In it, you can find more details about the candidates and races, read recent media coverage, watch videos of candidate statements and debates, review campaign contribution information, learn each elected official’s responsibilities and duties, then use all the information to complete your custom ballot and go confidently to your polling place on election day.

Explore the guide here.

And don’t worry if you’re not already registered to vote—Wisconsin lets you register on the day of the election at your polling location (which you can also locate in our guide).

If you need to report any problems at the polls, such as voter ID problems, problems with proof of residence, etc. you can call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683), to resolve any issues with Wisconsin Election Protection, a non-partisan voting rights group.

Now go get that sticker, Milwaukee!

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Milwaukee’s Mazorca will celebrate its one year anniversary with a Harvest Fest

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Mazorca tacos

The fest will feature Mazorca tacos, tortas and beer along with sweets from Algo Dulce. In addition to the tasty bites, there will music from local artists like Brown’s Crew. Attendees will also have the opportunity to shop the work of local artists.

Mazorca will also host a beat battle featuring special guest judges, CameOne, MAG and Ordinary Freaks from Milwaukee. The winner will receive the title of Mazorca’s Beat King and a $100 Mazorca gift card! If interested, you can contact Mazorca via their Facebook page.

Mazorca’s mission is to experience food, art and culture through their eyes, the offspring of Mexican immigrants who surrendered to calling Milwaukee home.

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Why hip-hop encourages voting, according to Kennita Hickman of Our City, Your Vote

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Hickman is the creator of the hip-hop powered voter engagement initiative Our City, Your Vote. The initiative aims to utilize hip-hop culture to encourage millennials to become socially and politically aware and to bridge the gap between Milwaukee artists–particularly of the hip-hop, spoken word and R&B genres–and local nonprofits. Our City, Your Vote takes a nonpartisan stance on politics–the goal is to get as many people to the polls as possible, regardless of their political beliefs. The long term goal is to have 2500 digital pledges signed by the November 2020 election.

Photo courtesy of Kennita Hickman

Kennita Hickman, founder of Our City, Your Vote.

“[The word] initiative is really important because this is really about building relationships in millennial communities and communities where hip-hop is the culture and is the language to engage people in local elections,” Hickman says.

The show on Sept. 25 marked the first live music event organized by Our City, Your Vote. Hickman sees the initial turnout as a success. Aside from the 50 people in attendance, an additional 40 were watching the event via livestream. It has her fired up about the upcoming election in November and the elections that will follow up until 2020.

“Here we go, numbers are moving,” Hickman says. “Now let’s increase those numbers.”

Hickman notes that the idea of “moving the needle” is what sparked her interested in voter engagement. Her work with hip-hop culture prior to Our City, Your Vote involved freelance writing for various publications. She began losing interest in writing album reviews and got into the artist management business, but decided to take a break from that as well. Hickman ultimately determined that she wanted to be able to make a tangible impact with her involvement with hip-hop.

“I wanted Our City, Your Vote to be a thing that had measurable metrics to see if we’re actually moving the needle – that’s very important to me,” Hickman says. “I think that’s something we’re missing in independent music – we’re just so thirsty to move, move, move that we have nothing to measure it against.”

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