The eighth annual Taste of Wisconsin is a free, family-friendly celebration of all things tasteful and truly Wisconsin in flavor. Over 40 food and beverage vendors from around the state serve up fresh-made specialties, with an array of beers, wines, ciders and other beverages available. More than 80 live musical performances from local and regional artists are scheduled throughout the weekend on four music stages. The KidZone tent features live music, hands-on activities, theater and dance demonstrations, and more entertainment for kids. Parking in and around the lakefront and downtown area is free.
3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 29, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 30, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 31 at Celebration Place in downtown Kenosha; FREE; tasteofwi.com
Congregations United to Serve Humanity will hold a peace and healing march July 21 in Kenosha.
An announcement from CUSH said people are invited to gather on the east lawn of the Kenosha Public Museum at 7 pm.
Marchers will go to the lakefront, where community and faith leaders will lead a lantern release — pending DNR approval — representing the officers and people of color who died in recent events.
The event marks a starting point for CUSH to foster dialogue and actions that lead to equity, justice, peace, and healing for our whole community, the news release stated.
CUSH is a non-partisan, interfaith coalition dedicated to “the pursuit of justice through advocacy, education and empowerment.”
For more information about the march or CUSH, call 262-564-8223.
On the Web
Find CUSH on Facebook.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, on Dec. 17 released its third annual report assessing LGBT equality in 408 cities across the nation, including five in Wisconsin. Madison earned a 100 percent or perfect score.
The 2015 Municipal Equality Index is the only nationwide rating system of LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy.
The average score for cities in Wisconsin is 60 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 56.
The scores in Wisconsin are:
Green Bay: 42.
Key findings contained in the MEI, issued in partnership with the Equality Federation, provide a revealing snapshot of LGBT equality in 408 municipalities of varying sizes, and from every state in the nation.
The cities researched for the 2015 MEI include the 50 state capitals, the 200 most populous cities in the country, the five largest cities in every state, the city home to the state’s two largest public universities, and an equal mix of 75 of the nation’s large, mid-size and small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples.
Forty-seven cities earned perfect 100-point scores, up from 38 in 2014, 25 in 2013 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the MEI.
This year’s MEI marks the largest number of 100-point scores in its history.
Other findings contained in the 2015 MEI:
Cities in all regions of the country earned excellent scores, demonstrating that commitment to LGBT equality is not confined to parts of the country many people assume are most LGBT friendly;
47 cities received perfect scores, even with this year’s more demanding criteria; that’s up from 38 in 2014, 25 in 2013 and 11 in 2012;
Cities continue to excel even without depending on state law: of cities that scored a perfect 100, 19 are in states that don’t have a statewide non-discrimination law; that’s up from 15 cities last year, eight cities in 2013, and just two in 2012;
32 million people now live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state or the federal government;
The average city score was 56 points, with half of the cities researched scoring over 61 points. Eleven percent scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 77 points; 25 percent scored under 31 points; and five percent scored fewer than 10 points.
Cities with a higher proportion of same-sex couples tended, not surprisingly, to score better, and the presence of openly-LGBT city officials and LGBT police liaisons also were correlated with higher scores.
The MEI rates cities based on 41 criteria falling under five broad categories:
Municipality’s employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage, contracting non-discrimination requirements, and other policies relating to equal treatment of LGBT city employees.
Inclusiveness of city services.
Municipal leadership on matters of equality.
Is there any better team player in movies than Mark Ruffalo?
Whether running in a pack of superheroes, wrestlers or journalists, Ruffalo has a rare ability to slide seamlessly into an ensemble while nevertheless standing out for his talent in doing so. A year after the Kenosha, Wisconsin, native received an Academy Award nomination for his supporting performance as Olympic wrestler David Schutlz in Foxcatcher, the actor is again expected to be Oscar nominated for his key role as a dogged Boston Globe reporter in the newspaper procedural Spotlight.
“I’ve been at the right place at the right time for these two movies, and been able to disappear into the beauty of an ensemble, to serve something that’s bigger than any one particularly individual,” says Ruffalo. “They say something at a moment when the culture’s ready to hear it. A movie, if it speaks to people, it bubbles out of the culture and lands at a moment when we’re ready to have a discussion.”
Ruffalo, one of the movie industry’s most outspoken advocates for environmental (and other) causes, rarely turns down a conversation. (He began a recent interview eagerly imploring a reporter: “Talk to me!”) He has regularly poured his considerable energy into both political activism (most notably hydraulic fracturing) and passionate, striving characters, from the bipolar but exuberant father of Infinitely Polar Bear to his redemption-seeking music executive in Begin Again. He does enthusiasm well, on screen and off.
“I see a lot of light on the horizon. I call it ‘the sunlight revolution’ and it isn’t just about renewable energy,” says Ruffalo. “It’s about enlightening and bringing to light the wrongs of the past. Everywhere I look, I see this inquiry happening. I think people are conscious. I think people are sick of it. They want righteousness. They want to know that’s there’s justice in the world, and they tend to move toward that when given the choice.”
Spotlight, which expanded to theaters nationwide this weekend, dovetails with that mission. The film, directed by Tom McCarthy, is about the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting by the Boston Globe’s team of investigative reporters — named Spotlight — that uncovered the widespread sex abuse of Catholic Church priests and subsequent efforts to cover up abuse cases.
The cast, including Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci, is uniformly excellent. And the film, one of the year’s most acclaimed, has been hailed for its verisimilitude in depicting the step-by-step digging of investigative journalism. Ruffalo, 47, plays Spotlight reporter Mike Rezendes.
“These are the people we want to celebrate. These are the people that deserve our admiration,” says Ruffalo. “You can’t have a free world without journalism, and it takes resources.”
To prepare for the role, Ruffalo spent time with Rezendes, observing him at work in the Globe newsroom and getting to know him at his home.
“As I told him, I said, ‘You found out things about me I didn’t want to know,’ says Rezendes. “He worked very hard and he got it.”
Rezendes, whom Ruffalo calls “a master” at his craft, continues to report on sex abuse and the church.
“The Catholic Church has taken some steps in the right direction, which I don’t think it would have taken were it not for us. But it has a ways to go,” says Rezendes.
Ruffalo, his movie-star counterpart, is more emphatic.
“I hope it’s a chance for the church to put people like Cardinal Law in jail,” says Ruffalo, who was raised Catholic. “That guy shouldn’t be living in a palace in the Vatican. He should just be in jail.”
Ruffalo, of course, is continuing his duties as a member (Bruce Banner/The Hulk) of the The Avengers, the last of which was the summer’s box-office behemoth Age of Ultron. He’ll be a part of a planned Thor sequel, and co-stars in next year’s magic caper Now You See Me 2.
But Ruffalo, who’s married with three children, is often busiest off-set. Earlier this month, he gathered other stars in Beverly Hills to protest Gov. Jerry Brown’s use of fracking in California.
“We live in this special time where you can’t hide anything anymore,” says Ruffalo. “All of the past wrongs are going to come to light.”
The White House accused new House Speaker Paul Ryan on Nov. 2 of “pandering to the extreme right wing” of his party on immigration.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Ryan’s recent comments on immigration reform are “preposterous” and disappointing.
The Wisconsin Republican said on Nov. 1 that he’s ruled out passing comprehensive immigration legislation while President Barack Obama is in office. He said Obama cannot be trusted on the issue because he went around Congress to take executive actions shielding from deportation millions of people living in the country illegally.
Earnest called the remark “ironic.” He said it’s Ryan who supported an immigration deal, then failed to push for it to come up for a vote in the House.
The White House criticism comes as Ryan is maneuvering carefully on the issue of immigration, long a priority for him. With most House conservatives wary of anything that could constitute “amnesty” for the 11.5 million immigrants living here illegally, Ryan has offered repeated assurances, before and after becoming speaker last week, that he will not pursue comprehensive immigration legislation as long as Obama is president.
It’s a new stance for Ryan, who as recently as last year was working behind the scenes in the House to promote immigration legislation following Senate passage of a comprehensive bill, including a path to citizenship for those here illegally.
The secretive House efforts largely collapsed in the aftermath of former Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s upset loss in a GOP primary in June of 2014, attributed to Cantor’s supposed support for immigration legislation.
Ryan even embraced eventual citizenship for those here without legal documents, something that’s anathema to many conservatives. In a 2013 appearance before the City Club of Chicago alongside the leading pro-immigrant activist in the House, Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Ryan said: “We do not want to have a society where we have different classes of people who cannot reach their American dream by being a full citizen. That is a very important part of immigration reform.”
Asked on Nov. 1 on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about his support for a “path to citizenship,” Ryan emphasized something different, saying: “Well, legal status is what I was talking about.”
Legal status versus citizenship is an important distinction, partly because only citizenship confers the right to vote. His office said Ryan supports “earned legal status,” noting that this could eventually lead to citizenship through existing channels.
Ryan has been under pressure from conservative lawmakers demanding assurances from him on the issue, even as Gutierrez and other activists have criticized him for offering such promises.
Earnest said Ryan’s remarks don’t bode well for a “new era of Republican leadership.”
Carthage College will welcome high-ranking military chaplain Col. Karis Graham-Oliphant to campus for a series of public events Nov. 9-11.
At 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Campbell Student Union auditorium, Graham-Oliphant will give a talk titled, “Why Fit In, When You’re Meant To Stand Out?”
The union is located at the south end of the Carthage campus, 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha.
This event is free to attend and open to the public.
Graham-Oliphant serves in the Air Force Reserve as an individual mobilization augmentee to the chief, personnel, budget and readiness office of the chief of chaplains at the Pentagon.
Previously, Graham-Oliphant served as part of the honor guard as a chaplain at Arlington National Cemetery and chaplain for the 501st Combat Support Wing in the United Kingdom. She completed a doctorate in psychology and used her mental health training at camps in Iraq for several years. She is also a career civil servant with the U.S. Agency for International Development, in its Middle East Bureau.
Besides sessions with student groups, two other public events are scheduled during her visit.
She’ll participate in a talk-back session after a performance of “Afghanistan/Wisconsin: A Carthage Verbatim Theatre Project” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Kenosha Public Museum, 5500 1st Ave. Her thoughts and personal trials are portrayed in the play written by Carthage student Laurel McKenzie. Admission is free, but a $15 donation to veterans’ service organizations is suggested.
In a talk during the Nov. 10 campus chapel service, she’ll share how she experiences God’s goodness and how faith brought her through difficult experiences. The service is held at 11:40 a.m. in the A. F. Siebert Chapel.
Veterans Day is Nov. 11.
Kenosha native Al Molinaro, best known for his roles as Murray the cop on The Odd Couple and malt shop owner Al Delvecchio on Happy Days, died Friday at age 96.
Molinaro, who retired from acting in the 1990s, died of complications of gallstone problems, his son Michael said. He was 96.
In its obituary for Molinaro, the Kenosha News noted that the actor’s family was well known in Wisconsin. Al Molinaro was the youngest of 10 siblings of an Italian-American family. Two of his older brothers were former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker George Molinaro and longtime Kenosha County District Attorney Joseph Molinaro.
Molinaro grew up during the 1930s in an Italian enclave in Kenosha’s Columbus Park neighborhood. The portion of 53rd Street where he grew up is unofficially and affectionately called Al Molinaro Street.
Childhood friend Frank Misureli told Kenosha News that he remembers Molinaro working at the Vincent McCall factory at 22nd Avenue and 56th Street. Misureli said he and Molinaro kept in frequent contact, with Molinaro always wanting to talk Old Kenosha.
“He loved Kenosha,” said Misureli, a longtime Kenosha News advertising director and current publisher of the Zion-Benton News.
Molinaro was a journeyman performer well into middle age when a comedy improv class led to his breakthrough. Producer Garry Marshall heard about Molinaro and hired him for the part of police Officer Murray Greshler on The Odd Couple, the TV version of Neil Simon’s play about feuding roommates. It starred Tony Randall as photographer Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as sports writer Oscar Madison and featured Molinaro as one of their buddies, a simpleminded policemen who at times seemed as much a threat to his friends as he did to any crooks.
The Odd Couple ran from 1970–75. In one defining scene, Murray attempts to enter his friends’ apartment, but the door is locked. Murray instead sticks his famously monstrous nose through a peephole.
“Oh, hi Murray,” Oscar calls out.
His son Michael said Molinaro “was good friends till the end with all of the group of people involved in The Odd Couple.”
His next long-running role was that of Al Delvecchio in Happy Days, the 1974–1984 nostalgic sitcom set in Milwaukee about 1950s life. The show starred Ron Howard and Henry Winkler. Molinaro joined the cast in 1976, replacing Pat Morita as the owner of Arnold’s Drive-In, and remained until 1982.
In ABC’s 1992 Happy Days’ Reunion Special, Molinaro defended the show from criticism that it sentimentalized the 1950s.
“In the industry, they used to consider us like a bubble-gum show,” he said. “But I think they overlooked one thing. To the public in America, Happy Days was an important show, and I think it was and I think it still is.”
Molinaro built on his Happy Days success for years after he left the show. He brought the character of Al to Joanie Loves Chachi, a short-lived Happy Days spinoff that aired from 1982-83. In 1987, he and Anson Williams, who played Potsie on Happy Days, started Big Al’s, a Midwestern diner chain.
He brought Al back for a brief appearance in Buddy Holly, a 1995 music video for the group Weezer that was directed by Spike Jonze.
Molinaro played a grandfather in The Family Man sitcom that aired from 1990-1991, and continued to make guest appearances on other series through the early ’90s. He also filmed commercials, notably for On-Cor frozen dinners.
Molinaro came to acting late in life. He had a brief teenage stint as a clarinet player with a band, then worked at a variety of jobs after graduating high school. He moved to California in the early 1950s on casual advice from a friend who suggested he pursue acting.
“I said, ‘I’ll do that,'” Molinaro told the Kenosha News in a 2004 interview. “I get on the Greyhound bus and I’m in Hollywood.”
His first TV job was in production, when he talked an independent TV station manager into hiring him. Then it was on to TV commercials and ads, including a Los Angeles billboard that featured him in a chef’s cap. The producers of “Get Smart” spotted it and hired Molinaro to play Agent 44 for a few episodes in 1969. That was followed by guest roles in such sitcoms as Green Acres, That Girl and Bewitched.
“I spent 20 years here before I got anything going, and from that I got lucky,” he said.
His son Michael, from his first marriage, survives Molinaro. He and his second wife, Betty Farrell, married in 1981.
One of Kenosha’s most beloved music events is back for another year, and with a big headliner. Rebirth Brass Band is a New Orleans institution, formed in 1983 and rising from performances in the streets of the French Quarter to festivals and stages all over the world. Based in the brass band tradition, the group also infuses funk and hip-hop into their sound for a truly distinctive sound. They’ll play at 7 p.m., with several other local acts opening; the festival will also feature a cooking studio and various vendors. T
Tickets are $25, $85 for VIP seats, and can be ordered at mahonefund.org.
Following last month’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, participants in the third annual Kenosha Pride March have something big to celebrate on July 18.
Based on attendance at past events, at least 200 people will take to the sidewalks and march through downtown Kenosha. They have a message to deliver, according to 20-year-old volunteer coordinator Diamond Hartwell. “Marchers are saying to the community, ‘We want to pull the Kenosha community together, to show we care. We support you — the LGBT community. We want you to be yourself, we want people to feel better and feel a part of the community,” Hartwell said.
Chairperson Dan Seaver said the march’s intent is to show that Kenosha, which is often overshadowed by Milwaukee and Chicago, has a distinct LGBT community.
“I’ll never forget the first year, we were approached by an elderly woman who supported the march, who commented, ‘I never thought I’d see something like this in Kenosha,’” Seaver said.
The event begins with sign-making at Library Park on Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street at 11 a.m. The march begins at noon. When the March ends at about 1:30 p.m., entertainment begins in the area known as HarborPark parcel A, across the street from Trolley Dogs.
This year’s event offers entertainment, including a drag show featuring Angel Deverreoux, Billy Post, Anthony Zolicoffer, Mr. and Miss Icon, Libra Valintino, Ceasars Brooklyn, Tempest Heat, Zafina, Phillips Sale and a few backup performers.
Jacob Bach will provide comedy entertainment. The acoustic groove band Color Me Once also is scheduled to perform, along with a DJ.
For the kids, there will be a bouncehouse and face-painting.
Sponsors are Trolley Dogs, which provided the insurance, and The Brat Stop, which provided money for a generator and for renting the city of Kenosha’s rolling stage known as The Showmobile.
Club Icon helped by hosting a benefit show and Wisconsin Gazette provided print and online support.
Each year, the local bar Pete’s Place has provided lemonade to marchers along the way.
Eventually, Seaver would like to see sponsors underwrite a larger Pride celebration.
The march committee included Dayvin Hallmon, who handled city permits. Sean Young served as secretary, Cheri Thomas managed fundraising, Lisa Butler coordinated entertainment and Chris Smith was treasurer.
For more information, visit Kenosha Pride’s Facebook page.