Tag Archives: spring

2017 Milwaukee Brewers Schedule

Here’s a look at the Milwaukee Brewers schedule, with the first game played April 3 against the Colorado Rockies.

April 3 Colorado, 2:10 p.m.

April 4 Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

April 5 Colorado, 8:10 p.m.

April 6 Colorado, 1:40 p.m.

April 7 Chicago Cubs, 8:10 p.m.

April 8 Chicago Cubs, 7:10 p.m.

April 9 Chicago Cubs, 2:10 p.m.

April 11 at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

April 12 at Toronto, 7:07 p.m.

April 13 at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

April 14 at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

April 15 at Cincinnati, 1:10 p.m.

April 16 at Cincinnati, 1:10 p.m.

April 17 at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.

April 18 at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.

April 19 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

April 20 St. Louis, 8:10 p.m.

April 21 St. Louis, 8:10 p.m.

April 22 St. Louis, 7:10 p.m.

April 23 St. Louis, 2:10 p.m.

April 24 Cincinnati, 7:40 p.m.

April 25 Cincinnati, 7:40 p.m.

April 26 Cincinnati, 1:40 p.m.

April 28 Atlanta, 8:10 p.m.

April 29 Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.

April 30 Atlanta, 2:10 p.m.

May 1 at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

May 2 at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

May 3 at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

May 4 at St. Louis, 1:45 p.m.

May 5 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

May 6 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

May 7 at Pittsburgh, 1:35 p.m.

May 9 Boston, 7:40 p.m.

May 10 Boston, 8:10 p.m.

May 11 Boston, 1:10 p.m.

May 12 N.Y. Mets, 8:10 p.m.

May 13 N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

May 14 N.Y. Mets, 2:10 p.m.

May 15 at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

May 16 at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

May 17 at San Diego, 10:10 p.m.

May 18 at San Diego, 3:40 p.m.

May 19 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

May 20 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

May 21 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

May 23 Toronto, 7:40 p.m.

May 24 Toronto, 1:10 p.m.

May 25 Arizona, 8:10 p.m.

May 26 Arizona, 8:10 p.m.

May 27 Arizona, 4:10 p.m.

May 28 Arizona, 2:10 p.m.

May 29 at N.Y. Mets, 4:10 p.m.

May 30 at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

May 31 at N.Y. Mets, 7:10 p.m.

June 1 at N.Y. Mets, 1:10 p.m.

June 2 L.A. Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.

June 3 L.A. Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.

June 4 L.A. Dodgers, 2:10 p.m.

June 5 San Francisco, 7:40 p.m.

June 6 San Francisco, 7:40 p.m.

June 7 San Francisco, 8:10 p.m.

June 8 San Francisco, 2:10 p.m.

June 9 at Arizona, 9:40 p.m.

June 10 at Arizona, 10:10 p.m.

June 11 at Arizona, 4:10 p.m.

June 13 at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

June 14 at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

June 15 at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.

June 16 San Diego, 8:10 p.m.

June 17 San Diego, 4:10 p.m.

June 18 San Diego, 2:10 p.m.

June 19 Pittsburgh, 7:40 p.m.

June 20 Pittsburgh, 7:40 p.m.

June 21 Pittsburgh, 8:10 p.m.

June 22 Pittsburgh, 2:10 p.m.

June 23 at Atlanta, 7:35 p.m.

June 24 at Atlanta, 4:10 p.m.

June 25 at Atlanta, 1:35 p.m.

June 27 at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

June 28 at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

June 29 at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

June 30 Miami, 8:10 p.m.

July 1 Miami, 4:10 p.m.

July 2 Miami, 2:10 p.m.

July 3 Baltimore, 2:10 p.m.

July 4 Baltimore, 4:10 p.m.

July 5 Baltimore, 8:10 p.m.

July 7 at N.Y. Yankees, 7:05 p.m.

July 8 at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.

July 9 at N.Y. Yankees, 1:05 p.m.

July 14 Philadelphia, 8:10 p.m.

July 15 Philadelphia, 7:10 p.m.

July 16 Philadelphia, 2:10 p.m.

July 17 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

July 18 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

July 19 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

July 20 at Pittsburgh, 12:35 p.m.

July 21 at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

July 22 at Philadelphia, 7:05 p.m.

July 23 at Philadelphia, 1:35 p.m.

July 25 at Washington, 7:05 p.m.

July 26 at Washington, 7:05 p.m.

July 27 at Washington, 12:05 p.m.

July 28 Chicago Cubs, 8:10 p.m.

July 29 Chicago Cubs, 7:10 p.m.

July 30 Chicago Cubs, 2:10 p.m.

Aug. 1 St. Louis, 7:40 p.m.

Aug. 2 St. Louis, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 3 St. Louis, 2:10 p.m.

Aug. 4 at Tampa Bay, 7:10 p.m.

Aug. 5 at Tampa Bay, 6:10 p.m.

Aug. 6 at Tampa Bay, 1:10 p.m.

Aug. 7 at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 8 at Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 9 Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 10 Minnesota, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 11 Cincinnati, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 12 Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

Aug. 13 Cincinnati, 2:10 p.m.

Aug. 15 Pittsburgh, 7:40 p.m.

Aug. 16 Pittsburgh, 2:10 p.m.

Aug. 18 at Colorado, 8:40 p.m.

Aug. 19 at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.

Aug. 20 at Colorado, 3:10 p.m.

Aug. 21 at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.

Aug. 22 at San Francisco, 10:15 p.m.

Aug. 23 at San Francisco, 3:45 p.m.

Aug. 25 at L.A. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.

Aug. 26 at L.A. Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.

Aug. 27 at L.A. Dodgers, 4:10 p.m.

Aug. 29 St. Louis, 7:40 p.m.

Aug. 30 St. Louis, 2:10 p.m.

Aug. 31 Washington, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 1 Washington, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 2 Washington, 7:10 p.m.

Sept. 3 Washington, 2:10 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Cincinnati, 1:10 p.m.

Sept. 5 at Cincinnati, 7:10 p.m.

Sept. 6 at Cincinnati, 12:35 p.m.

Sept. 8 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

Sept. 9 at Chicago Cubs, 4:05 p.m.

Sept. 10 at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.

Sept. 11 Pittsburgh, 7:40 p.m.

Sept. 12 Pittsburgh, 7:40 p.m.

Sept. 13 Pittsburgh, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 15 at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Miami, 7:10 p.m.

Sept. 17 at Miami, 1:10 p.m.

Sept. 18 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Sept. 19 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Pittsburgh, 7:05 p.m.

Sept. 21 Chicago Cubs, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 22 Chicago Cubs, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 23 Chicago Cubs, 7:10 p.m.

Sept. 24 Chicago Cubs, 2:10 p.m.

Sept. 26 Cincinnati, 7:40 p.m.

Sept. 27 Cincinnati, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 28 Cincinnati, 8:10 p.m.

Sept. 29 at St. Louis, 8:15 p.m.

Sept. 30 at St. Louis, 4:15 p.m.

Oct. 1 at St. Louis, 3:15 p.m.

Photo ID law leads to long lines in spring election

Confusion over Wisconsin’s strict new photo ID law contributed to long lines and other challenges for voters in the April 5 spring election and presidential primary, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.

The center cited multiple media outlets reporting long waits, particularly in student precincts in areas like Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee.

One Green Bay election official attributed the long lines and bottlenecks to the Badger State’s strict photo ID law, saying it “just plain slows things down.” The new requirement made voting a multi-step process for some voters, who waited in one line to register, another to get a form of ID acceptable under the law, and finally another line to cast a ballot.

In an interview with a local Milwaukee TV station, U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Campbellsport, said the photo ID law would help the GOP presidential nominee win Wisconsin in the fall.

“Now we have photo ID,” he said, “and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference as well.”

Wisconsin is one of 17 states with new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election in 2016.

“As yesterday showed, Wisconsin’s strict photo ID law does nothing but create a hassle and confusion at the polls,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program“Primaries have much lower turnout, so yesterday was just a preview. In what will likely be a high-turnout election year, we could see these lines multiply come November. Election officials and lawmakers must do everything they can to prepare for Election Day and ensure every voter can cast a ballot that counts.”

At Marquette University, the last voter exited nearly two hours after the polls were closed.

“It seems like the state Legislature doesn’t want a bunch of students voting,” Jessica Franco-Morales, a junior at University of Wisconsin – Madison, told ThinkProgress. “(The lawmakers) could have changed the law to make our student IDs compatible, but they didn’t. Their attack on certain populations seems pretty blatant.” Other students called the waits “frustrating.”

Contributing to confusion was a lack of education around the requirements, which has not received formal funding due to hold ups in the Republican-controlled Legislature.


Spring mobilization: Democracy is awakening!

The jig is up, and my time has come. I’m about to be arrested. They’ll be hauling me away in mid-April.

Not for doing anything wrong, really. In fact, the authorities will arrest me for standing up for what’s right. Or, more accurately, I’ll be sitting down for what’s right — by participating in a peaceful sit-in at the U.S. Capitol. I don’t yet know the details of the process, but I am certain of why I’m doing it: To help reclaim our People’s democratic rights from the moneyed elites who have bought our elections and deeply corrupted our government.

I’m also certain I will not be alone in the paddy wagon. That’s because thousands of mad-as-hellers will be converging on Washington in mid April to launch a nationwide mass mobilization of people power to halt Big Money’s control of our political system—and I’d like to see you there, too!

But you don’t have to risk arrest to join this democratic moment, for April’s Democracy Awakening will offer a wide variety of ways to protest the plutocrats without leaving your comfort zone. Saturday afternoon, April 16, will feature workshops, teach-ins and art aimed at the connections between voting rights, political money, and the democratic struggles for a healthy living planet, a fair economy, and more. On Sunday, April 17, there’ll be a big, colorful march, followed by a “Rally for Democracy” on the Capitol lawn; and April 18 will be a day for us commoners to team up, sit in, and by other means lobby our congress critters, demanding in person that they end their corporate money addiction. Find out details at DemocracyAwakening.org.

Throughout this People-A-Palooza, there will be an energizing balance of seriousness and fun: how-to workshops, tub-thumping speeches, cultural exchanges, concerts, pop-up musical performances, direct-action trainings, art exhibits and shows, teach-ins, and other activities. Organized by such disparate groups as the Sierra Club, NAACP, Common Cause, Public Citizen, Greenpeace, and the Communication Workers of America, the Democracy Awakening expressly recognizes that progress on all of our issues has been walled in by corporate bribery funds, K-street lobbyists, crony capitalism and nefarious voter suppression. From climate change to the Walmartization of our economy to racial justice, they understand that none of us can advance until we all team up to tear down that wall.

Mobilization now

The time has come. Six years after the Supreme Court’s malignant Citizen’s United ruling, nearly every American plainly sees how our nation’s historic “one person-one vote” political ethic of citizen equality has been buried in a roaring avalanche of money from corporations and the ultra-rich. Moreover, nearly nine years after Wall Street thieves wrecked our economy, the great majority also plainly sees that the Court’s turbo-charge of money politics has produced economic policies that richly reward the plutocratic robbers and coldly abandon the robbed. Americans know they’re being stiffed, for they’re experiencing it personally, and they’re furious at the business-as-usual/politics-as-usual establishment that has done it to them.

This powerful anti-Big Money sentiment is also what has fueled 2016’s establishment-stunning Bernie & Donnie presidential runs, and it’s why we democracy rebels should shift now from complaining about the plutocratic corruption of our country to stopping it. This hyper-political year is the time to move, for (1) the presidential and congressional elections will focus public attention on the political system for months to come, and (2) corporate and political cash will be on full display (from the Koch Brothers’ Billionaire Money Bash to the garish corporate sponsorship of both parties’ national conventions).

While all of the establishment forces have dourly told us commoners that we must resign ourselves to the New Citizens United Order of court-sanctioned rule-by-money, the people themselves have not accepted that. But where could they turn for help, since the leadership of both political parties either enthusiastically welcomed government by and for the 1-percenters (GOP) or — with a wink and a nod — agreed to go along with it (Dems) in exchange for getting their own share of big money donations? For six years, the broad public has been yearning for some one, some thing, some moment, to arise and rescue the founding ideals of 1776.

Well, here it is! And who are our rescuers? Us! You, me, and all the thousands of mavericks around the country ready to fire a new democratic “shot heard ‘round the world.” This will signal to the millions of frustrated Americans that they are not helpless in the face of plutocracy.

The moment is ripe to rally a People’s rebellion and make this election year the turning point for fundamental change. Simply getting such a diverse group of reformers to join hands in such an effort is an auspicious sign that maybe — just maybe — we can bind our forces into an effective populist movement for the long haul, rebuilding America’s democratic promise for the greater good of all.

Given the opportunity, don’t we have to go for it? I hope to see you in Washington!

Speaker, author and radio commentator Jim Hightower writes the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

On the web



Wisconsin court candidates to debate at UW-Madison

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates Rebecca Bradley and JoAnne Kloppenburg are set to meet in a debate on the University of Wisconsin campus.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports it will sponsor the March 18 debate along with Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio.

The debate is set to begin at 7 p.m. at Wisconsin Public Television’s studio on the UW-Madison campus. Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio will broadcast the event live.

Bradley and Kloppenburg will square off in the April 5 election for the late Justice Patrick Crooks’ seat.

Crooks died in September, a week after he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Gov. Scott Walker appointed Bradley in October to serve out the remainder of his term, making her the incumbent going into the election.

In Tech: Lifetime video service, Sprint’s new price plans

Fans of Lifetime’s melodramatic movies can now see them for $4 a month — without subscribing to cable.

Lifetime’s online video service is the latest move by an entertainment company to bypass the traditional cable bundle, which easily tops $70 a month. For example, HBO has made its shows and movies available online for $15 a month to people who don’t pay for cable, while Showtime has an $11-a-month service debuting this month. CBS and Nickelodeon also have Internet offerings that don’t require a cable subscription.

Subscribers to Lifetime’s service won’t get the regular cable channel, which has ads and is available on many cable and satellite lineups. Rather, the Lifetime Movie Club service will let viewers watch a rotating pool of movies, about 30 at a time, from Lifetime’s library of more than 300 films. They will be shown without commercials. The channel’s reality shows and scripted TV series won’t be available.

Lifetime has long been known for its movies about stalkers, affairs gone bad and thrillers based on juicy headlines. It has been trying to appeal to younger audiences with such movies as “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” It also has reality shows like “Little Women: LA” and the dance show “Bring It.”

“Lifetime movies definitely have a long history but they’ve changed over the years. Some of our biggest events on Lifetime are the movies,” said Dan Suratt, executive vice president for digital at A+E Networks, which owns Lifetime as well as the History channel and A+E.

While other online video services such as Dish Network’s Sling TV are aimed at people who don’t subscribe to cable, Suratt said he expects the movie app to be “entirely complementary” to Lifetime’s TV channel.

Like many channels, Lifetime’s primetime viewership has declined this year, according to Nielsen.

The new Lifetime Movie Club service will work on iPhones and iPads, with other devices coming this fall.


Sprint is introducing an “all-in” pricing plan, meaning a single, $80-a-month price that includes both a smartphone and a service plan for voice, text and unlimited data.

The new plan, though billed as simpler, won’t have many benefits for consumers. Prices for a Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 won’t change, as it had been $20 for the phone and $60 for the service plan. An iPhone 6 plan will cost $10 a month more as Sprint gets rid of a promotion. These three phones are the only ones eligible, as they are among the most popular.

With the new pricing, Sprint is going back to how all wireless plans used to be sold. Until recently, phone companies routinely offered subsidies on phones in exchange for two-year contracts and made up for that in higher monthly fees. In the name of transparency, T-Mobile lowered the monthly service fees two years ago and started charging for the phone separately. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint followed on some of its plans.

Now, Sprint is returning to the old ways in combining the two charges.

There’s one big difference: Sprint is leasing the phone. Customers have to turn it in when upgrading or pay extra to keep it. With subsidies, customers own the phones outright and have no obligations beyond the two-year contract. That means a customer can resell the phone when upgrading or cancelling service.

In a statement, T-Mobile described the move as a “pushback against a trend that wireless users have overwhelmingly supported.” T-Mobile says separating the charges gives consumers more information to make better choices.

Sprint will still sell phones outright, though at higher monthly prices. Those options aren’t as prominent on Sprint’s website.

Sprint’s $80-a-month price doesn’t include taxes and surcharges, including a one-time $36 activation fee.

Stability, extra grip make fat-tire biking a hit

There’s a new trend in mountain biking: Big, puffy tires that look like something NASA developed in case someone ever wanted to ride on the moon.

Yes, they look a little strange, but these fat-tire bikes have a smooth ride, even over the toughest terrain, and are an awful lot of fun to ride.

“You look at them and go, they’re kind of goofy, but once you ride one, it’s kind of hard to go back to a traditional mountain bike because of the additional stability and grip that you get,” said Greg Smith, an enthusiast who started the website Fat-Bike.com.

Fat-tire bikes have been around for decades; photos from a 1982 Iditasport race in Alaska show a bike with two wheels welded together for an easier ride over the snow.

The bikes started to become popular in the early 2000s in places where riders wanted to combat the snow, like Alaska and the Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Riders also took up fat-tire riding in sandy areas of New Mexico, Texas and Colorado.

The trend has spread across the country, spurred by major manufacturers jumping into fat-bikes around 2010.

Now the puffy-tired rides are the fastest-growing segment of the bicycle industry and can be found from the deserts of Arizona to the beaches of Florida. “It’s the ultimate adventure bike,” said Billy Koitzsch of Arctic Cycles in Anchorage, Alaska. “It’s just a lot of a fun being able to go over more obstacles. Your height and width profile are going to be able to get you over rocks with more ease.”

Stability is the key component.

Regular mountain bikes have tires 2 1-2 inches or less in diameter, which works well on trails or dirt paths. But those tires also tend to slide out from under riders on corners when there’s anything loose on the trail like gravel or sand. They also get bogged down when the terrain gets softer, as with snow or heavy sand.

Fat-bike tires are 4 to 5 inches in diameter, looking like someone put dirt-bike tires on a mountain bike. The wider base puts more rubber on the ground, providing extra stability and traction. Fat-bike riders also use lower pressures in the tires, which adds balance and grip.

“It’s like a mountain bike on steroids,” said Smith, who lives in Milwaukee. “You can’t just put these tires on a traditional mountain bike because there isn’t enough clearance, but the basic mechanics are the same, just enlarged to take that bigger tire.”

In the early days, fat-tire bikes were homemade contraptions by riding enthusiasts who sewed tires together and welded or pinned regular rims into one bigger one. They also took welding torches to frames and forks, creating extra space to accommodate the puffy treads.

The fat-bike industry took a big leap forward in 2005, when Surly introduced the purple Puglsey, which had 65-millimeter rims and the 3.7-inch Endomorph tire.

By 2010, nearly every major bike manufacturer had a fat bike on the market. Now, there are three-wheeled varieties, smaller versions for kids — the aptly-named Fatboy — and even fat-tire unicycles.

Riding groups have taken up the fat-bike craze, often riding in large groups along beaches or across the snow, and there are fat-bike races, including 1,000-mile Iditasport races across the snowy tundra of Alaska.

“It brings people back to cycling: `Oh, I used to do that, that was fun,”’ said Koitzsch, who has been offering guided fat-bike rides since 1996.

On the Web …



Endorsement | Vote for Bradley and against changing rules of selecting chief justice

WiG endorses Justice Ann Walsh Bradley for retention and urges voters to reject the referendum that calls for changing the way that the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s chief justice is selected.

Bradley’s experience and principled stands in many controversial cases, including recusing herself from cases in which there’s any hint of conflict of interest, should earn her a third term.

The Republican-dominated Wisconsin Legislature in January passed a constitutional amendment that would change how state Supreme Court justices pick their leader, adopting a new method that would give them the advantage. Voters on April 7 will be asked to decide the proposed constitutional amendment.

This represents the unseemly infusion of yet more politics into the state’s highest court. In 2009, Wisconsinites voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to a 10-year term, knowing that she would remain chief justice. The amendment would negate the result of that election. 

The Wisconsin Constitution states that the justice with the most seniority becomes chief justice. But the court’s conservative majority wants to get rid of Abrahamson, who has ruled several times against Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. The Republican-authored amendment would allow the justices themselves rather than seniority to determine the court’s chief, allowing the conservative majority to oust Abrahamson.

Bradley urges voters to reject the amendment.

“To change the constitution because you don’t like the style of a certain justice would be a terrible mistake,” Bradley said. “The constitution is a sacred document. It defines who we are as a people and what we stand for as a state. To use it as a tool for political payback is a big mistake.”

We agree.

Cyclists riding out winter, gearing up for funding fights

One recent morning while motorists were scrapping ice off their windshields, Bill Hartz hopped on his Schwinn hybrid and rode the scenic route to work. “I took the long way and went down by the lake to watch the sun rise,” said Hartz, who lives in Riverwest and works at Marquette University.

That same morning, Paula Schewe cycled 4 miles into work on her Surley fat-bike, stopping on the way at the Shorewood Colectivo for coffee and granola bars with some biking buddies. “I get to work on a riding high, there’s really nothing like it,” said Schewe, who works at a retail shop on Milwaukee’s Capitol Drive.

And on that icy morning, Steve Czerwinski daydreamed about the arrival of spring, about pumping up the tires on his Trek Bike and cruising on the Capital City State Trail.

Wisconsin is one of the best biking states and Madison is one of the 10 best biking cities in the country, said Czerwinski, a cycling enthusiast since his sixth birthday, when he got a BMX bike coveted by every kid in his neighborhood. “In a couple of weeks, with spring, everyone will see why. For cyclists, this is just a superb time of year to be in Wisconsin.”

March madness exhilarates cyclists. Warm-weather riders tune up their bikes, register for tours and update their gear. Four-season cyclists change out their rides or their tires, and also their clothes, as they shift from winter to spring. 

Schewe has cycled, literally, through 12 Milwaukee winters. “The first year, my friends thought I was crazy and my parents thought it was because I didn’t have enough money for a car — which was kinda true,” she said. “But it’s just a way of life for me. If you know how to dress, and you learn how to ride, and you take care of your bike, it’s all good.”

Bike retailers, mechanics and association members report a recent uptick in winter bicycling in Wisconsin. The explanations: refinements in cold-weather gear, attention to infrastructure, the popularity of fat-bikes with jumbo tires that seem to float on snow, rising gasoline prices and environmental awareness.

Hartz said he’s long cycled in warm weather to work, where he’d otherwise have to pay $65 a month to park a car. “A few years back, I decided to see how far into winter I could go,” he said. “It turns out — all the way through to spring. This is my third winter.”

Cycling, he said, is “far cheaper than a car, less crowded than a bus and gets you out in the fresh air for exercise year-round.”

And it’s also a way of life, Czerwinski would add.

Czerwinski doesn’t ride through the winter, but he thinks about riding all winter. And he saves what he can from tips to kickoff the spring season at regional bike expos. “There’s Bike-o-Rama, that’s big,” he said. “And Wheel and Sprocket, that’s the biggest. Everyone goes.” This year, Czerwinski is considering trading up his bike, an opportunity offered by the Wheel & Sprocket Bike Expo Sale at the Wisconsin State Fair Park next month.

Six years ago, the university student and barista relocated from Kentucky, ranked No. 48 on the League of American Bicyclists’ list of bike-friendly states to Wisconsin, ranked No. 3.

He’d like to see Wisconsin reach No. 1. So Czerwinski is taking an interest in political goings on at the capitals — in Madison and in Washington, D.C.

Gearing up for funding fights

Conservative Republicans at the state and federal levels this year launched initiatives to weaken biking programs. So the National Bike Summit this month was bringing bike advocates to Capitol Hill to: 

• Encourage federal lawmakers to co-sponsor the Vision Zero Act to prevent traffic fatalities and the Transportation Alternative Program Improvement Act to provide more local control on transportation priorities and funding decisions.

• Counter a campaign to strip bicycle funding from the transportation bill. Congress could vote in May on the anti-cycling initiative, which is backed by right-wing groups with strong ties to the fossil fuel industry and billionaires David and Charles Koch. 

“Despite billions in Highway Trust Fund shortfalls, Washington continues to spend federal dollars on projects that have nothing to do with roads like bike paths and transit,” read a letter signed by representatives of Tea Party Nation, the Heartland Institute, Club for Growth, American Energy Alliance and Americans for Prosperity seeking to eliminate federal transportation money for cycling programs.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has strong political and financial ties to those in this conservative coalition, is at the forefront of the campaign to puncture the state’s bicycling program.

Earlier this winter, at the start of his second term as governor and an apparent run for the White House, Walker offered a budget that proposed: 

• Cutting $2 million from the Transportation Alternatives Program.

• Gutting the Stewardship Fund used to buy and preserve conservation and recreational land for the public.

• Repealing the Complete Streets Law mandating that bicyclists and pedestrians be considered whenever a road is built or rebuilt.

State Sen. Chris Larson, in a statement responding to Walker’s proposals, said repealing the Complete Streets Law “jeopardizes pedestrian and bicyclist safety, resulting in fewer safe places for our neighbors to bike.” Larson added that cutting TAP “will result in fewer pro-bike projects, some of which seek to create more safe ways for children to get to their schools.”

Larson said, “The governor’s budget lacks a long-term, sustainable vision for our state. In fact, at the same time the governor is seeking to curb the growth and popularity of cycling in the state of Wisconsin, he is also borrowing $1.3 billion to pay for large highway projects. Each day, I grow more amazed by how backward Walker’s priorities are for Wisconsin.”

Dave Cieslewicz, executive director of Wisconsin Bike Fed, has described Walker’s budget as “a direct assault on biking.”

Bike Fed is collaborating with many organizations and lawmakers to protect the programs, according to Cieslewicz, who served two terms as mayor in Madison.

Czerwinski said he plans to get involved in the pro-biking push.

“Maybe there will be a bike-in,” said Georgia Cramer, of Kenosha, who also is interested in crusading for cycling.

Cramer, interviewed by WiG via Facebook, is a recreational rider — bicycling is a family activity on the weekends. But she wants to see bicycling opportunities expanded in Wisconsin. Like a majority of bicyclists, Cramer said she’d ride more if she felt safer on the roads, and she’d allow her children to ride more if she felt more secure in their safety.

Biking for all

“I love riding. And some of my fondest childhood memories are of riding my bike in the summer,” she said. “Government should do more, not less.”

Earlier this month, the nonprofit People For Bikes released a study showing 34 percent of Americans ages 3 and older rode a bike at least once in the last year and, of those who ride, 70 percent rode six days or more.

The survey also found that a majority worry about being injured on the road and 48 percent of adults in the U.S. don’t have access to an operational bicycle. The statistics are higher for people of color, according to a groundbreaking report, “The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity,” from the Sierra Club and the League of American Bicyclists. The research, for example, showed that efforts to improve infrastructure for cycling can skirt communities of color, contributing to a higher fatality rate for Hispanic and African-American riders.

The study also outlined the benefits of bicycle access and examined transportation costs. The average family with an income of less than $50,000 spends about 28 percent of its annual income on housing and 30 percent on transportation. The average yearly cost of operating a car is $8,220; the average yearly cost of operating a bike is $308.

Such statistics and real-life situations motivate Wisconsin cyclists to promote projects such as Bublr Bikes, the Milwaukee bike rental program, and participate in efforts such as Milwaukee’s Vulture Space, a nonprofit do-it-yourself bike shop that redistributes repaired bikes in the community; the Milwaukee Bicycle Collective, which educates and encourages the re-use and recycling of old bikes; and DreamBikes in Madison and Milwaukee, which since 2008 has employed and trained dozens of teens while refurbishing and returning more than 10,000 bikes to the community.

“I’m for a bike for everyone, because biking is just good for your health, mind, for the environment and it’s economical,” said Czerwinski, the guy who spent that recent icy morning daydreaming about riding out winter and cycling into spring.

Are you missing out on our ticket giveaways and free discount coupons? Simply like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Email  editors about this story, or with a story idea.

The Getty is revealed as the buyer of Manet’s ‘Spring’

The J. Paul Getty Museum was revealed on Nov. 6 as the buyer that paid a record $65.1 million for Edouard Manet’s “Spring,” a celebrated portrait of a Parisian actress as an embodiment of the season.

The painting will join several other Manet works on display by the end of the year, the Los Angeles museum said.

“Spring” was auctioned Wednesday at Christie’s in New York City. The price, which included Christie’s commission, was well above the expected high price of $35 million.

It also nearly doubled the previous record of $33.2 million paid four years ago for “Self Portrait with a Palette,” another work by the 19th century French artist.

The Getty’s other Manet works include “Portrait of Madame Brunet,” “The Rue Mosnier with Flags,” “Bullfight” and “Portrait of Julien de la Rochenoire.”

Painted in 1881, two years before Manet’s death, “Spring” portrays actress Jeanne Demarsy in a flowered dress, bonnet and parasol. It was presented at the 1882 Paris Salon.

“Spring” was intended to be one of four paintings featuring Parisian women representing the seasons but Manet only completed “Spring” and “Autumn” before he died in 1883 at 51.

The painting had few owners and had been in the collection of an American family for more than a century.

Christie’s did not identify the seller but said proceeds will benefit a private American foundation that supports environmental, public health and other causes.

Spring was the last of Manet’s Salon paintings still in private hands, Getty Director Timothy Potts said in a statement.

“It is a work of extraordinary quality and beauty, epitomizing Manet’s influential conception of modernity, and executed at the height of his artistic powers,” Potts said.