New 2 MKE

Monday, September 9, 2013

Your Assignment: Choosing a School

Posted by: Unknown on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)



Well, we’ve hit Labor Day which means the end of summer for most and back-to-school for students!

If you’re new to the area, or thinking about relocating here, we thought now would be the perfect time to give you a brief rundown on Milwaukee-area schools and colleges/universities because if there’s one thing Wisconsin residents take pride in, it’s their schools!

The state offers a wide range of educational opportunities, both public and private, and Wisconsin schools have consistently been ranked among the best in the country. In Milwaukee County, school districts are “unified,” which means they include elementary, middle and high schools. In suburban counties, however, it is not uncommon to have separate school districts for elementary and high schools. In these situations, several elementary school districts will feed into a single high school district. For more information on the public schools servicing the area, including charter schools (public schools that are granted greater freedom in their operation so that they can develop innovative programs and curricula that could improve education as a whole), please click here to view a summary on our website. In addition, the state Department of Public Instruction publishes report cards for all public elementary, middle and high schools in the state. The report cards are organized by school district and can be viewed here.

Milwaukee also has many high quality private & parochial schools. The area is home to several non-sectarian, college-preparatory schools, including three that offer classes from kindergarten through 12th grade. For example, University School of Milwaukee, an independent college-preparatory day school that can trace its roots back to 1851, offers prekindergarten (age 3) through grade 12. 


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Another unique school is St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, a private, all-male college preparatory and leadership development school that has graduated heads of state, key business leaders, professional athletes and accomplished artists since its founding in 1884.

In addition, in the five-county metropolitan area, we have over 250 Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Jewish and Baptist elementary and high schools. Catholic Memorial is one example. Located in Waukesha, the school offers a rigorous curriculum designed to prepare students for college and other career choices.  

If you’ve made the decision to home-school your child, you will need to complete a form and submit it to the state Department of Public Instruction.  For complete information on home schooling requirements, plus various resources, please click here.  In addition, there are two home-based schooling associations that can provide assistance: Wisconsin Parents Association and the Wisconsin Christian Home Educators Association.

When it comes to colleges and universities, Milwaukee also has several, with the largest being the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Marquette University.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has more than 30,000 students in 150 different undergraduate and graduate degree programs and Marquette University offers more than 10,000 students a wide array of academic choices and more than 60 majors through its nationally-recognized colleges and schools. In addition, more than 2,600 students attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering, a private college with strong ties to the business community.

Wisconsin’s vocational education program was the first of its kind when it was established in 1908; today, there are more than 30,000 students in degree and certificate programs combined between Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties, Waukesha County Technical College in Waukesha County, the Moraine Park Technical College in Washington County and Gateway Technical College in Racine County. These schools have developed apprenticeship programs and customized training for businesses.

As you can see, the Milwaukee area is home to wide array of education options and it’s important to do your homework before choosing the best option for you/your family. As always, we are here to help. A complete listing of school information and data is available in the current edition of Discover Milwaukee. Click here to order your free copy!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Milwaukee: A City of Festivals, Fairs & Fun

Posted by: Unknown on Friday, July 26, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Whether you enjoy celebrations of heritages and music festivals or prefer Strawberries and Tomato Romps, the Milwaukee area has a festival or fair for you.

Many of the major festivals take place on the lakefront at Maier Festival Park (also known as the Summerfest Grounds), but you can also find a wide array festivals elsewhere around the city as well.

Although some of these have already passed, here’s a quick rundown of some of the best:

Major Festivals

When: June 26 - June 30, and July 2 - 7
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What:  Summerfest, also known as "The Big Gig,” Summerfest is the world’s largest music festival. Held annually along the lakefront, this kick-off to summer boasts 11 days of music on 11 stages with over 700 performances. From rap to country to blues and rock, Summerfest satisfies every musical taste.


State Fair
When: August 1-11
Where: State Fair Grounds, 640 S. 84th Street
What: For 11 days each August, the Wisconsin State Fair provides fun, affordable and unique entertainment. It’s got everything from music and the midway to a milk house and monkeys! In terms of music, while the Grandstand Main Stage features a different headline performance each evening of the fair, there are also side stages to see local acts and cover bands. The midway features rides and games for the whole family. There are also exhibit halls where fairgoers can purchase everything from salsa makers and mops to hammocks and apparel, plus additional exhibits featuring horticulture and agriculture.

And then, of course, there are the animals: Check out the livestock from around the state, enjoy a pig and duck race, or check out special features like “Wild About Monkeys” or “White Tiger Discovery.”

Finally, last, but certainly not least, over the years, the Fair has become perhaps best known for its FARE—featuring the world-famous cream puffs and a plethora of items on a stick. Try deep-friend peanut butter and bacon nuggets or a Krispy Kreme burger with spicy pig candy—those are just a few of the 70 NEW menu items (21 of them on a stick) for this year’s fair. Come hungry.


Ethnic Festivals

Milwaukee Highland Games
When: June 1
Where: Hart Park, 7300 Chestnut St.
What: Milwaukee’s Scottish Fest features bagpipe bands, Highland dancing, sheepdogs, unique athletic events, great Scottish food and a Parade of the Tartans.


Polish Fest
When: June 14 - 16
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What:  America’s largest Polish festival is in your own backyard! Enjoy polka & folk dancing, music, cultural history, vodka tasting and the best Polish food all in one place.

Bastille Days
When: July 11 - 14
Where: Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St.
What: Milwaukee’s popular French festival is one of the nation’s largest French-themed celebrations. This free, four-day bash attracts over 250,000 visitors annually who enjoy live music, an international marketplace, chef and wine demos, French and Cajun cuisine, roaming busker entertainment and a signature 43-foot Eiffel Tower replica offering hourly light shows.

One particular popular event is the BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille run/Walk, a 5K fun run on Opening night, which draws over 5,000 runners and walkers who flood the streets, reenacting the revolutionary storming of the Bastille prison.


Festa Italiana
When: July 18 - 21
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What: Festa Italiana is all about food, family and fireworks. Enjoy Festa favorites such as rice balls, fried eggplant, calamari, and canola; test out your bocce balls skills, take a romantic gondola ride, and enjoy the Pinochhio Parade; and tradition says that Festa has the best fireworks on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

German Fest
When: July 25 - 28
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What: “Milwaukee’s Original Haus Party” celebrates German culture and tradition, including food, travel, history, music and more. Many well-known German restaurants and food services from Southeast Wisconsin make the trip to provide attendees with great authentic German cuisine and be sure to check out the Glockenspiel!


African World Festival
When: August 3 - 4
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What:  African World Festival is a celebration of African-American heritage and culture. Enjoy a sample of ethnic foods, shop around the marketplace and enjoy lots of great entertainment.

Irish Fest
When: August 15 - 18
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What: It’s often said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish and the same can be said during Irish Fest in Milwaukee, one of the city’s most popular ethnic festivals. The largest and best Irish cultural event in North America,  Irish Fest has been part of the Milwaukee community for over 30 years, dedicated to promoting and celebrating all aspects of Irish culture.


Mexican Fiesta
When: August 23 - 25
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What: Mexican Fiesta brings the sounds, culture and taste of Mexico to Milwaukee with three days of fun, food, Mariachi and Fiesta for all.

Indian Summer Festival
When: September 6 - 8
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What: This festival honors the Native American culture, which has been so influential in the Great Lakes region for the past five centuries, with a traditional Pow Wow, fireworks, Indian dance troupes, Tribal Villages, and so much more.

Food & Drink Fests & Fairs

Cedarburg’s Strawberry Fest
When: June 22-23
Where: Historic Downtown Cedarburg
What:  Celebrate the most luscious fruit of the summer—fresh, home-grown strawberries, during Historic Cedarburg’s Strawberry Festival. This free event features the berry in several delicious forms, including a strawberry brat, shortcake, pie, crepes, slush—and wine! Stroll Washington Avenue and enjoy arts, crafts and music.

Firkin Craft Beer Festival
When: July 20
Where: Cathedral Square Park, located between Kilbourn Avenue (North), Jackson Street (East), Wells Street (South) and Jefferson Street (West).
What: This beer tasting event features over 100 craft beers to sample from Milwaukee breweries as well as guest beers from around the country.

Milwaukee Brew Fest
When: July 27
Where: Coast Guard Pavilion at McKinley Park, 1600 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
What: Sample over 250 craft beers and micro brews from over 60 breweries from across the country and enjoy live music, food from local restaurants and displays by local artists and craftsmen.

Tomato Romp & Harvest Festival
When: September 14
Where: North Avenue from Prospect to Oakland
What: If you enjoy Bloody Marys, this festival is for you. Enjoy Bloody Mary samples from several local establishments, then cast your vote in the Best Bloody Mary Contest. The day ends with a Rotten Tomato Fight. Proceeds from the event go towards organizations that help alleviate hunger in the community.

Cedarburg’s Wine & Harvest Festival
When: September 21-22
Where: Historic Downtown Cedarburg
What:  Transition from the summer festival season to fall in Historic Cedarburg during the annual Wine & Harvest Festival. Enjoy a variety of food, featuring grilled corn, caramel apples, apple cider, plus a variety of local products and wines and more. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts and don’t forget to join in the Giant Pumpkin Charity Regatta!


When: June 7 - 9
Where: Maier Festival Park, 200 N. Harbor Dr.
What:  For over 25 years, PrideFest Milwaukee has been proudly celebrating the diversity of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) culture and community with a variety of entertainment acts and activities.
Milwaukee Indy Fest
When: June 14-15
Where: State Fair Grounds
What:  The Milwaukee IndyFest is an IndyCar Series race held at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis.

Waukesha County Fair
When: July 17-21
Where: Waukesha County Fair Grounds
What: The Waukesha County Fair is the oldest fair in Wisconsin; it features food, music and other entertainment such as truck & tractor pulls, demolition derby and more.

Milwaukee Rally
When: August 28-September 2
Where: Various Harley-Davidson sites
What: The Milwaukee Rally is a free-admission national motorcycle rally produced by the Harley-Davidson Dealers of Metro Milwaukee. This year, Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 110th anniversary, so, in addition to the annual Rally, many other events are being held over Labor Day weekend around the city. For more information, visit:

Paramount Blues Festival
When: September 6-7
Where: Lime Kiln Park, Grafton
What: Love Blues music? Then you’ll want to check this festival out in Grafton!

Tosa Fest
When: September 6-7
Where: State Street, Wauwatosa
What:  One of the larger community festivals, Tosa Fest features music, food and drink from local restaurants and fun for the entire family.

Remember, this is just a summary of some of our city’s fun-filled festivals and fairs which make for non-stop frivolity from June through September.  Be sure to check out our calendar for other events going on in your neighborhood year round!

Friday, June 28, 2013

New Retailers Flocking to Milwaukee

Posted by: Unknown on Friday, June 28, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The five-county area already boasts a plethora of unique smaller shopping destinations, six regional shopping malls and three outlet malls within a 40-minute drive. Plus, we already have several major department stores such as Boston Store, Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears & Kohl’s but business is booming and more retail locations have recently been added, or will be coming soon to an area near you. Read on!

  • Brookfield:
    •  New Target
    • Trader Joe’s
    • The Corners of Brookfield (coming soon) retail and housing development proposed by Marcus for West Blue Mound Road near Barker Road in the town of Brookfield.
    • Von Maur


  • Waukesha
    •  Shoppes of Fox River
      • T.J. Maxx, Ulta Salon and Cosmetics, Rue 21 and Charming Charlie’s


  • Mayfair
    •  The Mayfair Collection (coming soon): a 270,000-square-foot project at Highway 45 and West Burleigh Street in Wauwatosa. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ulta, Nordstrom Rack are, Old Navy and  Sak’s Fifth Avenue Off Fifth are announced tenants on the project.
    • Mayfair Mall
      • Nordstrom (coming soon)


  • Bayshore Mall:
    • Athleta (coming soon)
    • Ulta (coming soon)
    • Torrid (coming soon)


  •  Southridge
    • Macy’s
    • Francesca’s
    • Pink
    • Aldo Shoes
    • Loft
    • Chico’s



Did you know?

Kohl’s Departments Stores are based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin! In case you’re unfamiliar with Kohl’s, it is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment at 1,127 stores nationwide. Since 2000, Kohl’s and the Kohl’s Cares program have combined to give more than $39 million to support charitable initiatives in the metropolitan Milwaukee area.



We’ll continue to keep you updated along the way—until then, happy shopping!







Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Moving? Now is the best time to take advantage of energy (and money) saving tips!

Posted by: Unknown on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

In any move, utilities are important and arrangements for utility connections should be made well in advance of your move to ensure you will have service when you need it. However, another important aspect to consider when starting fresh is how you can make small but important changes that will benefit both the environment and your wallet.

In Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, We Energies serves more than 1.1 million electric customers and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. It also serves about 500 steam customers in downtown Milwaukee.  If you’re looking to start, stop or transfer your residential electric and/or natural gas service, requests can be made online by clicking here, or by calling (800) 242-9137. [Please note that online requests require at least two business days (Monday-Friday) before your requested date of service.]

In addition to standard residential rates, We Energies offers customers additional rate options including:

•    Renewable Energy Rates, where customers can choose to participate in company’s Energy for Tomorrow renewable energy program, which gives customers the option to pay a premium for the company to obtain generation fueled by renewable resources. Use of renewable energy resources has a positive impact on the environment and  reduces the consumption of non-renewable resources.

•    Time-of-Use:  With the company’s Time-of-Use program, you pay a lower rate when the demand for electricity is low (weeknights, weekends and holidays) and a higher rate when demand is high (weekdays on-peak hours).

We Energies is also committed to helping customers improve home energy use, offering both general energy (and money) saving tips, as well as personalized recommendations.

A full list of “101 Money-Saving Tips” can be found here, but here are a few we found to be especially helpful for those who may be moving to the area and we’ve adapted them accordingly:

•    Select an energy-efficient central air conditioner by looking at the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.  Or, get your current unit tuned up. Have your central air conditioner tuned up by a qualified heating contractor every other year. This can help the unit operate more efficiently and may prevent failures in the middle of peak cooling season.
•    Purchase an energy-efficient furnace. Select an energy-efficient furnace model by looking for an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of 90 percent or greater.
•    Use natural gas for heating. Consider switching to a natural gas heating system. Natural gas is less expensive than other heating fuels.

•    When buying a new refrigerator or freezer, look for the Energy Star label. Energy Star refrigerators and freezers can save you hundreds of dollars on your electric bill over the life of the appliance. If you’re moving to a place with appliances included, remember that older refrigerators and freezers use two to three times more electricity than ones that are 10 years old or less.
•    Consider a natural gas range or oven. Natural gas appliances cost less to operate than electric appliances and offer better temperature control. Moving an older model or moving into a house with appliances? Make sure the oven seals tightly. Even a small gap allows heat to escape and wastes energy. If you can move a dollar bill through the closed door, the seal is not tight enough and should be replaced.
•    Place your washer close to the water heater. Water loses heat as it flows through pipes. When the washer is located near the water heater, hot water doesn’t have to travel as far to reach the washer, and less heat is lost. Insulating the pipes between the water heater and washer helps retain heat, too.

•    Speaking of water heaters, purchase an energy-efficient model. The initial cost may be more but operating costs are less in the long run. Consider a tankless or instantaneous water heater, which uses energy only when hot water is needed, rather than maintaining 40 gallons or more of hot water all the time. Purchase the correct size. Consider your family’s hot water needs. If your water heater is too large, it uses more energy than needed. If it is too small, you may run out of hot water.
•    Purchase a natural gas water heater. If you currently have an electric water heater, consider replacing it with a natural gas water heater. When it comes to heating water, natural gas is less expensive than electricity, and it heats more water faster during heavy use. Consider a sealed combustion or an on-demand water heater. Both types use less energy.

•    Repair dripping faucets promptly. If the faucet leaks hot water, the energy used to heat it is costing you money. (One drop a second can waste up to 48 gallons a week!)
•    Use Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs last longer and use up to 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs. You can cut your electric bill by $60 per year if you replace the standard bulbs in your five most frequently used light fixtures. Properly dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs at your local household hazardous waste collection site.

Finally, We Energies also partners with Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, offers many programs—including cash-back incentives—to help residents save in energy costs by making simple changes in their homes.

Focus on Energy residential programs include:
•    Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program: provides home energy assessments that pinpoint exactly how to make your home more energy efficient, and connects you to financial rewards for improvement. Enhanced rewards are also available for income-qualified participants.
•    New Homes Program: pairs prospective homeowners with builders and energy experts to construct new homes that are between 10 and 100 percent more efficient than homes built to Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code.
•    Express Energy Efficiency Program: provides free, professional installation of energy-saving products that can help you save up to 10% on your utility bills.
•    Residential Rewards Program: offers hundreds of dollars in Cash-Back Rewards for heating and cooling equipment, water heating equipment, and air sealing and attic insulation. Enhanced rewards are also available for income-qualified participants.
•    Appliance Recycling Program: offers free pickup and recycling of old refrigerators and freezers, and a $50 reward for each working appliance you recycle.
•    Lighting and Appliance Program: offers instant, in-store discounts on a variety of energy-efficient lighting and water-saving products at participating retailers throughout Wisconsin.
•    Renewable Energy: Focus on Energy offers Cash-Back Rewards for renewable energy installations and will connect you with experts who can help you determine if your property is a good candidate for a renewable system.

In sum, before you make a move, it’s well worth it to take the time up front to consider how you can help save energy and your bottom line at the same time.


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