Summer officially starts Thursday, June 21st, although the recent Alabama heat may have convinced you otherwise. In addition to getting outside and soaking up the ‘longest day of the year’, you can also celebrate the occasion by taking advantage of all sorts of deals for free!We put together a running list of the best deals from major chains in Tuscaloosa to help you dive into THE FIRST DAY OF summer.Dunkin’ DonutsThe deal: The ubiquitous donut and coffee purveyor is holding a nationwide tasting event featuring free samples of its new Frozen Lemonades. Everyone gets a 3.5oz serving of the stuff, while supplies last.When: June 21 from 10am to 2pm (local time).Dairy QueenThe deal: Your local DQ will hand you a free small Blizzard if you download the chain’s new mobile app and register an account. You’ll receive a coupon for the free treat after confirming your account. The deal appears to exclude locations in Texas, though.When: OngoingPlanet SmoothieThe deal: America’s third-largest smoothie chain is handing out free 16oz Lunar Lemonade smoothies to celebrate National Smoothie Day and the start of summer. Think frozen lemonade but blended with both strawberries and bananas for both sweet and tart flavors. All you have to do is show up within the two-hour window — no need to buy anything.When: June 21 from 2pm to 4pm (local time).McAlister’s DeliThe deal: For the tenth year, the deli restaurant chain is handing out free 32oz ice teas for its Free Tea Day promotion. You don’t have to buy anything. Just show up thirsty.When: June 21CinnabonThe deal: Buy any pastry and get a free vanilla or cinnamon roll-flavored 10oz iced coffee free. You’ll have to go to a participating mall location for this deal, though, so that’s worth double-checking before you go.When: June 21McDonald’sThe deal: While it isn’t free food, Mickey D’s has a special giveaway for National Selfie Day, which also happens to land on the first day of summer. Buy one of the chain’s 100% fresh beef Quarter Pounders at one of the more than 2,000 locations taking part in the deal, and they’ll throw in a free “Frylus,” a totally impractical stylus designed to look like a French fry. You’ll also get a free smartphone stand, while supplies last.When: June 21.Pizza HutThe deal: You can score large, two-topping pizzas — hand tossed or Thin ‘N Crispy — for $5.99 each, if you order online or via mobile apps for carryout only.When: Through June 24.Hungry Howie’s PizzaThe deal: Get your hands on a large, round, one-topping pizza with any flavor crust for $5.98 with the code 598LP18.When: Through June 21Bojangles’The deal: This regional chain is serving up 32oz cups of its Legendary Iced Tea (sweet tea) for just $1. That’s a lot of sweet tea.When: Through summer.Edible ArrangementsThe deal: Hit up your local Edible Arrangements store for a 99-cent smoothie.When: June 21
First responders do a lot in our community and on Wednesday the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club showed them some love with their annual First Responder of the Month award.This month’s winner is Sarah Haggerty, who’s also the first woman to win the recognition.Each month the Punishers Club gets nominations sent in, and they pick the person they feel best fits the award. Nominations include firefighters, police officers, paramedics and sheriff’s deputies.Punishers Club Chapter Treasurer Damon Stevenson said the goal of these awards is raising awareness for all the hard work our community’s first responders are doing.“A lot of times their jobs can be thankless jobs,” he said. “They put a lot on the line every day, which is time away from their families.”Haggerty is a paramedic with Northstar Paramedic Services in Tuscaloosa County.
CHICAGO — Even with significant off-field baggage, Jameis Winston was the first pick in the NFL draft April 30 night. With no such issues, Marcus Mariota went second.You don’t pass up a potential franchise quarterback in today’s pass-happy NFL.So Florida State’s Winston is headed to Tampa Bay and Oregon’s Mariota goes to Tennessee at No. 2. They’ll take their Heisman Trophies (Winston in 2013, Mariota last year) and try to turn two downtrodden franchises into contenders, maybe even champions.“The challenge is just being an NFL player, period. I’m not worried about any off-the-field situations or even on-the-field situations,” Winston said.“I’m just worried about living this new lifestyle and just developing into a great man for the Tampa Bay community for my teammates, because it’s all for them and it’s all for the success of this franchise.”While Mariota has been a model citizen, some questioned his having barely taken any snaps behind center in Oregon’s quick-tempo attack.But Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt, who has done big things with such veteran quarterbacks as Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner and Philip Rivers, clearly isn’t concerned.“He’s a talented young man who has a very good feel for the position and how to process those things,” Whisenhunt said, “and we’re excited to get a chance to work with him.”Naturally, Mariota isn’t worried about the doubters, either.“I believe in my abilities and the hard work that I’ve put in,” he said. “And that’s one thing is that I can’t control other people’s opinions. I’ve just got to do what I can do and that’s putting in the hard work and getting ready for the next chapter. People are always going to have their opinions and say what they want to say.”Tampa has the receivers to help Winston in Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, both of whom went over 1,000 yards last year despite shoddy quarterbacking. Tennessee can’t make the same claim.Each of those teams went 2-14 in 2014, but coaches Smith and Whisenhunt, in their first seasons in charge, survived the awful record. Now, they presumably have the main building tool.Winston and Mariota, who each had a year of eligibility remaining, will meet in the season opener in Tampa Bay.Neither quarterback was in Chicago, choosing to watch — and celebrate — at home with their families. It was the sixth time since 1967 that quarterbacks went 1-2, and this was no surprise.It wasn’t a surprise to see Washington CB Marcus Peters or Missouri DE Shane Ray go in the opening round, although both bring questions about personal behavior to the NFL that dropped them a bit. Peters went 18th to Kansas City, Ray 23rd to Denver, which traded up five slots to get him.Peters was kicked off the Huskies after several arguments with coaches.“He’s got to keep his emotions in check and I think he’ll do that,” coach Andy Reid said. “He’s not a troublemaker off the field, that’s not what he is. He’s not a problem in the locker room, that’s not what he is. Just those competitive juices, you have to know how to control those.”Ray was cited for marijuana use April 27, and said he “will learn from my mistake.” Coincidentally, marijuana has been legalized in Colorado.Nebraska linebacker Randy Gregory, who failed a marijuana test at the NFL combine, was not chosen.Following the quarterbacks were two more underclassmen: linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. of Florida headed upstate a bit to Jacksonville, then Oakland grabbed Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.The first senior taken was Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff by Washington in the fifth spot, a bit of a surprise.After Scherff, the Jets, normally heavily cheered when the draft was held in New York — it’s in Chicago for the first time in 51 years — were loudly booed when they went on the clock. And when they went for Southern Cal DT Leonard Williams, rated by some as the best overall player in this crop, the jeers increased exponentially.Why? Because the Bears were next up and need a dynamic player at the position.Still, the local team was cheered as if Jay Cutler had just thrown for a TD when it grabbed West Virginia’s game-breaking receiver, Kevin White. After trading top wideout Brandon Marshall to the Jets, the Bears had a big void there.Dan Quinn, the Falcons’ new coach after he helped build Seattle’s dynamic defense, got a nice tool in Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley.The Giants selected Miami offensive tackle Ereck Flowers and St. Louis finished off the top 10 by taking Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who comes off a major knee injury.The pick drew some reactions of disbelief from the crowd of 2,800 in the theater and 50,000 outside in what the league calls Draft Town. No RBs went in the first round of the past two drafts.“He’s special, yeah he is,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “When his career is over, he’ll be a great pick.”Minnesota took the first defensive back, Michigan State’s Trae Waynes, and then the proceedings got a big lift.Well, it was actually Roger Goodell who got the lift when 339-pound DT Danny Shelton of Washington bear-hugged him and elevated the Commissioner about a foot off the ground.“It was a little bit planned, but it was just an exciting time so I had to do it,” Shelton said.Shelton, dressed in Samoan garb, was chosen by Cleveland, then the Saints got Stanford OT Andrus Peat and the Dolphins bolstered their receiving group with Louisville’s DeVante Parker.Finally, a trade was made, with San Diego moving up two spots to 15 to get another running back, Wisconsin’s record-setting Melvin Gordon. San Francisco got the Chargers’ first-rounder, a fourth-rounder and next year’s fifth-rounder.Washington led with three choices: Shelton, Peters and LB Shaq Thompson to Carolina. The Pac-12 had nine choices, as did the ACC.Seventeen offensive players went in Round 1, which ended with DT Malcom Brown of Texas going to New England.Eighteen underclassmen were picked among the first 32.(BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
ATHENS — Olympiacos is closing in on its 18th Greek league title in 20 seasons after a 4-0 victory over Atromitos on Feb. 21.With second-place AEK drawing 1-1 at Iraklis on Feb. 20, Olympiacos increased its lead to 18 points with seven rounds left.Alejandro Dominguez opened the scoring with a long-range shot in the 10th minute. Atromitos hung on and had several chances to equalize until when Alan Pulido scored in the 65th.Nine minutes later, Pulido set up Esteban Cambiasso’s first league goal before Costas Fortounis rounded off the scoring in the 85th following a cross by Brown Ideye.Third-place Panathinaikos squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with fourth-place PAOK, Xanthi beat Panthrakikos 1-0 and 10-man Panetolikos snatched a 1-1 draw at Platanias with a late equalizer.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Leaders can have many different styles — just compare President Donald Trump to Malala Yousafzai to your boss or the coach of your kid’s soccer team.But a study published Thursday suggests that people who end up in leadership roles of various sorts all share one key trait: Leaders make decisions for a group in the same way that they make decisions for themselves. They don’t change their decision-making behavior, even when other people’s welfare is at stake.That may come as a bit of surprise, given that most lists of key leadership qualities focus on things like charisma and communication skills.”Previous research has mostly focused on these kinds of either personality characteristics of a leader, or situations where individuals are likely to lead,” says Micah Edelson, a neuroscientist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. “But we don’t know much about the cognitive or neurobiological process that is happening when you are choosing to lead or follow — when you’re faced with this choice to lead or follow.”He notes that the decisions of leaders can affect the lives of many others. “It’s not always that easy to make such a choice, and it’s something that could be even a little bit aversive to you, to make a choice that impacts other people,” says Edelson. “And there are some people that seem to be able to do it; some people don’t. So we were interested in looking at that.”He and his colleagues had volunteers come to the lab, and gave them questionnaires that are widely used to predict whether someone is likely to be in a position of leadership. They also collected information about people’s real-world leadership experience, such as what rank they’d achieved in the military (which is compulsory for men in Switzerland) or in the popular Swiss Scouts organization.Then they put the participants into small groups and had them play a series of games in which individuals had to make choices about whether to take a risky action to get a reward.”These are choices about uncertain gambles that have some probability of success and potential gains and losses,” Edelson explains.The player could choose to either make the choice alone, or defer the decision to a majority vote.The games were played under two conditions: Sometimes the decision affected only the individual player’s winnings and other times the decision affected what the entire group received.What the researchers found is that people in general tended to avoid taking responsibility for what happens to others; deferral rates were the highest when decisions affected other people’s pocketbooks.But the people who changed their decision-making behavior the least were the ones who generally served as leaders in the real-world and scored high on leadership questionnaires. Unlike others, they did not require more certainty before being ready to personally make a decision that would affect the whole group.”On average, people tend to increase the certainty threshold when the choices affect the entire group. But higher-scoring leaders just keep their thresholds almost constant,” says Edelson, who says preliminary work using MRI brain scanning supports the idea that leaders and followers differ in how their brains process information about gains, losses, and risk in the context of thinking about others.Other neuroscientists say the work, published in the journal Science, is fascinating.”It seems a very reasonable finding,” says Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist at University College London. “It works with our intuition, but in the same way it’s not something that you’d necessarily think about that distinguishes leadership.”Sharot cautions that it’s not clear whether this decision-making behavior is what led people to their leadership position, or if they’ve developed it as a result of real-world leadership experience.And this study doesn’t say anything about who ends up being a “good” leader, either.But Sharot says the researchers have identified something about leadership that can hold true regardless of a leader’s style.”You can have authoritarian leaders who like to have the ultimate control,” she says. “You can have democratic leaders who want to lead according to the will of the people. You have leaders who are risk-takers, leaders who are risk-adverse and conservative and so on.”But what’s really interesting about this work, she says, is that these different types of leaders’ decision-making behavior stays the same regardless of whether the outcome affects only themselves or other people. “What this paper shows is that all these types of individuals, all these types of leaders, have something in common.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a plea in April for more Americans to be prepared to administer naloxone, an opioid antidote, in case they or people close to them suffer an overdose.”The call to action is to recognize if you’re at risk,” Adams told NPR’s Rachel Martin. “And if you or a loved one are at risk, keep within reach, know how to use naloxone.”Nearly every state has made it easier for people to get naloxone by allowing pharmacists to dispense the drug without an individual prescription. Public health officials are able to write what are called standing orders, essentially prescriptions that cover everyone in their jurisdiction.Some states require training in how to use naloxone, typically given as a nasal spray called Narcan or with an EpiPen-like automatic injection, in order for someone to pick up naloxone. But the medicine is simple to use either way.After the surgeon general called for more people to be prepared with naloxone, we decided to ask Americans about their knowledge about the opioid antidote’s availability, attitudes toward using it and experience with the medicine in the latest NPR-IBM Watson Health Health Poll. The survey queried more than 3,000 households nationwide in May.We wondered how many people know about naloxone and the fact that someone doesn’t have to be a medical professional to administer it. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they were aware of the antidote and that it could be given by laypeople; 41 percent said they weren’t.We then asked people who knew about naloxone if they would need a prescription to get it. The answers were pretty evenly divided among three options: yes, no and not sure/no response.”Why, with all the attention we’ve had in the media, why don’t more Americans know about naloxone?” asks Dr. Anil Jain, vice president and chief health information officer for IBM Watson Health. “When people did know, why did people think they needed a prescription?” While the survey doesn’t get at the causes, Jain says, the findings underscore the need for greater public awareness.Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen says the lack of knowledge among Americans at large isn’t all that surprising. “Policy alone is necessary but not sufficient,” she says. “People still don’t know to go to the pharmacy to get access to naloxone, especially individuals at the highest risk.”To change that, she says, “you have to have continued education and the delivery of services” where people need them.In Baltimore, the health department maps where overdoses are happening and sends outreach workers to the areas. But money is an issue, even at a negotiated cost of $75 per naloxone kit, Wen says. There isn’t enough naloxone to go around. “Every week we take stock of how many naloxone kits we have for the rest of fiscal year,” she says. “Who’s at most risk? Those are who we give the naloxone to.”The NPR-IBM Watson Health Poll asked people if they would be willing to use Narcan, the nasal spray form of naloxone, to help a person who had overdosed. Fifty-eight percent said they would and 29 percent said no. Thirteen precent weren’t sure or didn’t respond. Only 47 percent of people 65 and older said they would be willing to do it.When asked about the auto-injector option, 68 percent of respondents said they would be willing to administer naloxone that way and 22 percent of people said they wouldn’t be.Finally, we asked whether people had obtained naloxone, and 10 percent said they or someone in their household had. Among those people, 81 percent said the naloxone had been used, but the sample size for this question was small, making interpretation difficult.The nationwide poll has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points. You can find the questions and full results here. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
As the streetcar rolled off a truck onto the tracks on West St. Paul Avenue in downtown Milwaukee on March 26, onlookers scrambled to record the moment.It has been such a long time coming that Milwaukee’s streetcar arriving in the steel hardly seemed real.The first streetcar vehicle arrives in Milwaukee.Bystanders watched the 40-ton, 67-foot articulated vehicle’s maiden voyage near the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to its parking spot in the streetcar maintenance facility at 450 N. Fifth St. in preparation for 621 miles of testing before passengers can ride.Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett acknowledged the project had been arduous and there were plenty of critics, but with characteristic optimism, he hoped to convince them of its greatness. “My hope is that we’ll win over, not all the critics, but we’ll win over many of the critics when they see how well this runs, when they see how many people are utilizing it,” Barrett said. Alderman Bob Donovan, one of the project’s biggest critics, describes the streetcar as a “solution in search of a problem.”“I never supported it from day one, primarily because the city is faced with a variety of challenges in our neighborhoods that remain unaddressed, higher priorities than a streetcar,” Donovan said. “I think in the long run we’re going to be paying dearly for this. The maintenance cost, the operational cost, we don’t know necessarily where that money is going to come from.”Regardless of the politics, now that it’s here, the question is: Who is going to ride the streetcar? And how will it fit into daily life in downtown Milwaukee?Sponsorship & ridershipThe City of Milwaukee estimates the Phase 1 route will provide 1,850 rides per day and about 595,000 rides per year in its first full year of operation in 2019.The route is meant to complement existing bus lines and bike share stations and improve mobility around the downtown area.Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has agreed to foot the bill for the first year’s fares as part of a $10 million, 12-year deal that includes prominent logos on the streetcar’s exterior. The streetcar is designed to allow users to “park once” along the route and then take the streetcar to different destinations downtown or in the Third Ward. Streetcar supporter Alderman Bob Bauman, who represents the downtown area, described an example of a user who wants to get dinner at the Calderone Club on North Old World Third Street, see a show at the Skylight Theater in the Third Ward, and grab a drink afterward at Victor’s on North Van Buren Street.Bauman also envisioned residents using the streetcar for pub crawls, or tourists taking the Lakefront Line to Discovery World or the Milwaukee Art Museum. Professionals from Chicago visiting their company’s Milwaukee office might take the streetcar from the Intermodal Station to the U.S. Bank Center or Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons.“I suspect you’re going to see heavy usage by downtown residents, by downtown workers over the noon hour and after work,” Bauman said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of tourists and visitors using it, without question. Tourism is not a bad thing. Tourism generates a lot of income for people.”Ghassan Korban, commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of Public Works, expects riders to take the streetcar to and from the Intermodal Station.The route“We hope it’s tourists, we hope it’s residents (who ride the streetcar), we hope it’s employees who just come downtown for work and hopefully enhance or encourage their mobility during the lunch hour. Maybe after work to just hop on it, get somewhere, run some errands and come back to either their workplace or wherever they happen to be parked,” Korban said. While the 2.1-mile route isn’t the longest, this is a starter system that aims to be a proving ground, said Jeff Polenske, Milwaukee city engineer.“The whole idea of being in the downtown was to demonstrate all the very positive impacts that a streetcar can provide to a community,” he said. Korban and Polenske aren’t worried about getting support now that the streetcar is here.“People forget pain and people forget the inconvenience that they went through on a project,” Korban said. “They’re going to start believing and they’re going to start getting excited about it. Now you have a streetcar that’s running. Let’s take advantage of it.”Initially, they expect there to be a surge of curiosity, followed by a drop-off, which they have taken into account in their ridership projections. The real sticking point will be when the free rides end at the conclusion of Potawatomi’s sponsorship on September 1, 2019.Railroad fan Tom Burke drove up from Fox River Grove, Illinois to see the arrival of the first streetcar March 26, with plans to return when he can ride it. He expects mainly tourists to use the routes.“I think it will be nice, especially if they can extend it out to Summerfest and over to Marquette and over to UW-Milwaukee. Right now, it’s kind of limited in terms of the loop that it does,” Burke said. Greg Paules, who works for the Department of Transportation at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, came by because he was curious to see it.“I’ve been excited about this happening for a while, so I wanted to get a first glimpse of it, check it out,” Paules said. “I live about a mile-and-a-half from here and we’re on one of the proposed expanded routes, so I’m really hoping that happens. I think that’d be fun to ride it to work or something.”And he would use the streetcar to get around for more than just work.“Especially with the first year being free, I plan to be on that thing a lot, hopefully,” Paules said.LogisticsFour more streetcar vehicles will arrive from Pennsylvania manufacturer Brookville Equipment Corp. through August, with the system expected to open to the public in late fall.The City of Milwaukee has secured the operator, TransDev Services Inc., and is beginning to hire and train streetcar operators. At the same time, it plans to train the public on life with a streetcar.With the help of marketing firm 2-Story Creative Ltd., the city plans to undertake a public information campaign to let businesses, residents and visitors alike know more about the vehicles and how they operate. The streetcar vehicle mostly shares lanes with vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, who should treat it just like a large vehicle, Korban said. In some spots, it has a dedicated lane. The streetcar obeys the speed limit and traffic signals, has a horn and can extend green lights in some instances. The city plans to install signage along the route to instruct vehicles and bicycles on interacting with the system, and route information signs will also be posted at stops.Parking is not expected to be heavily impacted by the route.The hours of operation will be 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays, with potential adjustments based on demand, Korban said.The hope of supporters is the streetcar becomes an everyday part of life in Milwaukee.“Our job is to make it very simple to use, very clean, very attractive, very safe and organically, it is just going to become part of the culture and part of what people are accustomed to,” Korban said.Other cities’ experiencesOther cities that have installed streetcars in recent years can provide some clues about how the Milwaukee streetcar may be used.Cities that get streetcars right realize they are about concentrating new economic activity in an area and attracting talent to the same spot, said Geoff Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Smart Growth America, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that advocates for thoughtful urban expansion.“If you have a transit system that connects nothing to nowhere, don’t be surprised if no one rides it. It’s not rocket science,” Anderson said. “If you have a transit system where you have a lot of people around it and it connects them to places they want to go, then you’re going to have a lot of people ride it.“Getting the right kind of development happening around the transit line is a big deal. Understanding that basically, you’re trying to create walkable, mixed-use, vibrant areas along the corridor the streetcar’s going to serve.” Portland, Oregon’s streetcar, installed in 2001, is hailed as the shining example of a modern streetcar. It transports 4.6 million riders annually on a 7.2-mile network and has driven $4.5 billion in additional market value along the route since 1998, according to economic consulting firm ECONorthwest.“That’s when we’ve seen it be successful in creating jobs and creating new economic activity is when the public sector is cognizant that they’re trying to create a magnet to organize private sector development around,” Anderson said. A city similar in size to Milwaukee, Kansas City, Missouri, has also installed a successful system.Kansas City’s 2-mile streetcar opened in 2016, and more than 3 million trips have been taken since. The initial route runs from its Union Station through downtown to the River Market North dining and shopping area. Two extensions have been proposed.The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has supported the streetcar’s development, said Pam Whiting, vice president of communications at the chamber.“We saw it as first helping to move people and to connect people with our downtown area, which has been undergoing a great revitalization,” Whiting said. “The second reason that we supported it and continue to support it is because of the economic development that typically follows a fixed line. And that’s been proven to be true in that we’ve had more than $2 billion – that’s billion with a ‘b’ – in development along the streetcar line.”Additional development is already being floated along the proposed extensions.“It’s wildly beyond expectations,” she said. “As our downtown has redeveloped, a lot of people are using it to get to work and are giving up their cars and we see people from out of town using it, as well as people in town.”St. Louis has had a bumpier path to unveiling its streetcar, which was due to open in fall 2017, but delayed by several months.The refurbishment of the historic streetcars took longer than expected and the employees hired for the system became a drain on the system’s resources, said Joe Edwards, the business executive who has championed the streetcar route.St. Louis company Clayco stepped up and donated $500,000 in gap funding to move the project toward completion recently. Edwards expects the streetcar to open in about two months, and the projected ridership to be 350,000 per year.The 2.2-mile route is called the Delmar Loop, and is designed to connect residents and visitors to restaurants, shopping, entertainment and the popular attractions in Forest Park.“I think a lot of St. Louisans will (ride it) just for fun because there’s nothing like riding something on rails. And then the visitors to St. Louis will like it a lot,” Edwards said. “I think local residents and business people will, too, because they’ll be able to take MetroLink (light rail) here and not have to drive, not have to park. And a lot of younger people and retirees appreciate livable, walkable communities.”St. Louis has seen additional development along its route already, he said. A $66 million, 14-story apartment building and a $100 million redevelopment project were attributed to its being built.In Dallas, where a 2.4-mile streetcar line was installed in 2015 to connect the Oak Cliff neighborhood over a bridge to downtown, the city, like Milwaukee, also chose Brookville cars.“They put in a streetcar that actually is battery powered when it goes over that bridge because it’s a historic bridge and residents didn’t want to see the catenaries on it,” said Dallas council member Lee Kleinman. “Because we ended up with this hybrid electric battery-operated model, the first year they had some tweaks to work out,” but the Brookville cars have generally been problem-free, he said.Kleinman said the streetcar has had generally positive acceptance, ridership has gradually been increasing, economic development has picked up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood, and the city is talking about adding another segment to connect the Oak Cliff line to its heritage line on the other side of downtown.“In Oak Cliff, we have seen a lot of development. New restaurants, new multi-family development and other ones on the way,” he said. “That’s what it was intended to do.”Economic developmentA vital component of the success of the streetcar is how it impacts economic development in the corridor it travels, stakeholders say.“We’re very excited about that it telegraphs development along its route,” said Rocky Marcoux, commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of City Development. “We’ve already seen an incredible amount of interest from developers that have expressed interest in building along the line or, in some cases, already have buildings along the line.”Most developers have responded positively to the streetcar because it reflects a long-term commitment to the route, versus a bus route that could easily be changed overnight, Korban said. Maintenance facility Intermodal Station Post office Streetcar tracks Third Ward shops Hotel Metro MSOE Metro Market West Kilbourn Avenue Cathedral Square East Pointe Market Place Streetcar signage Burns commons A Bublr bike station The Wicked Hop Cafe Benelux North Milwaukee Street Milwaukee Marriott Downtown East Side homes The lakefrontIrgens Partners LLC for example, noted the streetcar in its choice to develop the 25-story BMO Harris tower under construction at North Water and East Wells streets. Josh Jeffers has taken on several major developments along the route, and R2 Cos., owner of the post office building on West St. Paul Avenue, has cited the streetcar as a factor in its redevelopment plans.While its construction has been delayed by several years, The Couture high-rise apartment development will also be a centerpiece of the streetcar’s transportation network, Marcoux said. He’s not worried about the project’s delays.“The Lakefront Line is already under construction,” he said. “(Developer Rick Barrett) will get the building out of the ground this year and that will allow plenty of time for The Couture to open and also the Lakefront Line to open.”“Regarding the streetcar, that we’re preparing right now to have that operable by the year 2020 and we’re tracking on that timeframe,” Rick Barrett said. “It’s actually in following with the original timeframe and we are waiting for our information on financing back with (an application for a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loan guarantee insurance plan) right now, so everything’s moving along.”A significant portion of Barrett’s tenants at other buildings are millennials, he said, and they are asking for more urban amenities.“Every single time we talk to our residents or create a survey for residents out of our buildings, we are constantly being asked by the millennial crowd to push the initiative of more walkable community,” Barrett said. “What I’m thinking is that people … are having happy hour at The Couture and they jump on the streetcar very simply and they get dropped off right at the arena.”But there has been skepticism among some in the community, including real estate professionals.Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin executive director Tracy Johnson said while a November member survey showed just 31 percent thought the streetcar would attract riders and spark development along the route, the organization’s members generally support the project now that it’s here.“The streetcar, I think, is one of those things that people maybe didn’t think it was going to happen,” Johnson said. “So of course…they really didn’t believe that would have an impact. Now that it’s here, they’re optimistic. I do believe that’s a pervasive sentiment. It’s here and we’re going to make the best of it and leverage the benefits that it can bring.”Opinions aboundThe construction on city streets over the past several months has been challenging for Historic Third Ward businesses and residents, said Jim Plaisted, executive director of the Historic Third Ward Association.But he hasn’t heard any negative feedback on the streetcar itself, since it is expected to bring consumers to Third Ward retailers and restaurants and alleviate the neighborhood’s parking challenges.“It’s going to be such a positive downtown circulator for the Third Ward, for the Public Market,” Plaisted said. “One of the things we’ve noted is we’re really becoming a weekend destination for people from Chicago and they’re taking the train.”Rodney Ferguson, chief executive officer and general manager at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, said although it doesn’t go to the casino, the streetcar is an attraction tool to get more people into the city and become more competitive for events like the NBA All-Star Game and the Democratic National Convention.But Donovan questions the short length of the initial route, which wouldn’t be able to take people to the new arena for those potential events.“I don’t know that it really takes anyone, at this point, to any particular destination,” Donovan said. “I think there’ll be … somewhat of a honeymoon period where people will want to do it just for the novelty of it, but I assume that will quickly dry up. I have a feeling that once this is open downtown, rush hour is going to be a hell of a mess in downtown Milwaukee.”Ian Abston, president of millennial consulting company Millennian LLC, disagrees with Donovan. He bought a condo at the Breakwater on East Knapp Street and North Franklin Place after the streetcar was announced, and plans to use the streetcar to get to work, the gym, and to bars and restaurants.It gives Milwaukee a leg up on future population growth as more residents shift into cities, Abston says. And it could position the city better for tourism.“The Amtrak from Chicago to Milwaukee is one of the most heavily used Amtrak lines in the nation and we’re dumping people there with zero transportation options,” he said.Milwaukee’s population growth among those aged 18 to 34 was seventh-lowest in the nation from 2010 to 2015, according to a recent report by the Brookings Institution.“We are getting our asses kicked (in attracting millennials) and the streetcar isn’t a save-all by any means, but at least it’s a step in the right direction,” Abston said. “I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised by ridership. The car is no longer this American freedom box on wheels that it once was. With rideshare, carshare, Uber options out there, (millennials are) just looking for transit options.”But Megan Taylor, a millennial Milwaukee resident, does not support the streetcar.Taylor owns and operates Port Washington-based portable restroom company Cans-to-go and Mequon-based Best Waste Solutions. She owns a condo in Walker’s Point, and described the streetcar as a “complete waste of money” that will burden taxpayers if funding doesn’t come through for operations.“I don’t think we should have taken the funding,” she said. “I mean, look at where we are recently. The City of Milwaukee has failed for the second time now for that (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant. Why are we taking money for a project that’s not going to help boost economic development, not going to spur along the tax base and it’s not even designed for expansion?”Future expansionOne thing most everyone can agree on is that the initial streetcar route is limited. The problem is funding.The Phase 1 route and the Lakefront Line, which is set to open next, cost a total of $128 million to build, which came from federal grants and local tax increment districts. About 80 percent of pre-revenue operational costs for the first 18 months will be funded by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant, and another CMAQ grant is expected to be funded to cover another 18 months once revenue service begins. The city plans to charge an introductory fare of $1 per ride, and supplement the cost with sponsorships and advertising. The annual operating costs are expected to be about $3.5 million.In early March, Milwaukee was for the second time turned down for a $20 million federal TIGER grant that would have extended the streetcar another 1.2 miles to the new Milwaukee Bucks arena. But by the end of the month, President Donald Trump had approved $1.5 billion in funding for another round of the program and there was a new opportunity to apply.“We will certainly be first in line to apply for it for our share of that,” Korban said.Milwaukee has a long way to go to return to the days of its previous streetcar, which was originally pulled by horses, electrified in 1890 and eventually grew into a large network of hundreds of miles that looked roughly like today’s Milwaukee County Transit System. It ceased operations in 1958, said Milwaukee historian John Gurda.At its World War II peak, when tires and gasoline were rationed and more workers needed to get to factories, streetcar ridership was 428 million in 1944, he said. That’s about 10 times current MCTS ridership.Most cities’ streetcar systems went by the wayside at about the same time as Milwaukee’s due to the rise of the automobile, Gurda said. “Today’s streetcar is much different than the past streetcar,” Polenske said.“The millennials have made it very clear through their behavior that they don’t like cars; they like mobility through either biking, walking or other modes of transportation such as the streetcar,” Korban said. The city’s transit-oriented development plan is to have the streetcar extend north to Bronzeville and south to Walker’s Point. “I’m sure we will be in the next round (of TIGER funding), at a minimum for the extension to the arena, which we’ve already dedicated a local match to of about $20 million,” Marcoux said.Barrett said the city is not discouraged by the previous TIGER application being turned down, since it had to apply several times to obtain the grant for the Lakefront Line.“We are undergoing an incredible renaissance and there’s a lot of development here in the heart of the city,” Barrett said. “The streetcar complements that. It’s all about making this city more desirable for those people who work here, who live here and who visit here.” How it’s funded$128 million for Phase 1 and Lakefront Line constructionFederal: $54.9 million in ICE fundingFederal: $14.2 million TIGER VII grantLocal: $9.7 million from Cathedral Square TIDLocal: $18.3 million by amending Erie Street TID to 19 yearsLocal: $31 million from 19-year East Michigan TID$3.5 million annual operationsFederal: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant covers 80% of 18 months of pre-revenue costsFederal: CMAQ grant anticipated for 18 months of revenue serviceLocal: Potawatomi to cover fares for first yearLocal: Other corporate sponsorships for stations and routesLocal: Advertising on side of streetcar Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
HandcyclingLast updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pmHandcyclingThe nation’s top para-cyclists will gather near Milwaukee this summer to compete at the 2018 Para-Cycling Criterium National Championship race, hosted this year by the Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD), Wisconsin’s annual road cycling series that runs from June 21 to July 1. The national race, which includes hand cyclists and cyclists who are physically and visually impaired, will be held on June 23 at Giro d’ Grafton race in Grafton. It will be ToAD’s first para-cycling race since the tour was founded in 2009. And it is likely the first para-cycling national championship ever to be held in Wisconsin. “USA Cycling is excited to award the Para Criterium Nationals to the Tour of America’s Dairyland,” said Chuck Hodge, vice president of operations at USA Cycling. “Awarding these nationals reflects the support that ToAD and southeastern Wisconsin has shown for para and handcycling.” The race will be part of the second annual IndependenceFirst Handcycling Classic, which takes place during the first four days of the ToAD. Milwaukee-based IndependenceFirst offers resources and programming for people with disabilities. Handcyclists will compete in three races during the classic for daily race leader jerseys, overall Handcycling Classic winners jerseys and championship, and prize money. The races will take place in Kenosha, East Troy and Waukesha. “The strength, stamina and pure speed generated by these athletes elevates the entire ToAD series,” said John Haupt, ToAD Handcycling race director said. “Handcycling and Para-Cycling deserve to be included in major bicycle races everywhere. Having them together here at ToAD moves us in that direction. In addition to raising the profile of these sports, hosting the Classic and Nationals puts Wisconsin and ToAD on the map as a destination for para and handcyclists.”ToAD races will take place in 11 communities throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including downtown West Bend, Janesville, Port Washington, Shorewood, and East Tosa, which is where the series ends. In 2017, ToAD attracted nearly 1,000 racers from more than 40 states and 15 countries, with an average of 450 racers competing daily. It also attracted an estimated 100,000 spectators that attended races other special race-day events. Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe
Denver-based Frontier Airlines on Tuesday announced nine new routes, including new direct service between Milwaukee and Jacksonville, Florida.The flights between Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee and Jacksonville International Airport will begin on Aug. 15. The route will be served by Airbus A320 aircraft.The Milwaukee-Jacksonville service will operate only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Flights will leave Milwaukee at 4:43 p.m. and arrive in Jacksonville at 8:01 p.m. Flights will leave Jacksonville at 2:30 p.m. and arrive in Milwaukee at 3:53 p.m. Traffic at Mitchell International Airport was up 6.9 percent during the first quarter of 2018 after an increase of 2.4 percent in all of 2017.Traffic at the airport has risen as airlines have added new service, including several new routes from Milwaukee to Florida destinations. Frontier added service from Milwaukee to Miami last year. Allegiant entered the Milwaukee market last year offering direct flights to several destinations in Florida. Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribe