Citizens Who Gave Voice to Save the Lakefront January 2005

(1) Tom Spellman
(2) Bill Sell
(3) Lidia Amonson
(4) Richard Ippolito
(5) Jeffrey W. Krueger
(6) Linda Nieft
(7) Kristina Paris
(8) Alice Hanson-Drew & Michael Drew
(9) Theresa Lorbiecki
(10)Troy Freund
(11)Roxanne Dunkelberger
(12)Paul Seifert
(14)Kathleen Slamka
(l5)Bill Christofferson
(16)Harvey Taylor

From: Tom & Dona & Rosa
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 9:30 AM
Subject: The ship

Dear Ms Esch

I lived in Milw for some 33 years and only recently moved to Lake Geneva because my wife got burned out in MPS but it is critical that the ship not be placed parallel with the lake front. This seems to be a comparable issue to the new Marine building being built and its “issues” with the Art Center. If they can raise the money and birth the ship parallel to the river someplace so be it but NOT ON THE LAKE FRONT blocking the view for the 1000′s of people who would be impacted by both its bulk but also it the statement made that preserving a old battleship is more important than education the children of the City of Milwaukee. That to me is the greater affront. Tom Spellman


This was posted by Bill Sell on the Bay_View-Matters Yahoo group.

“Bay View Matters” <>

I am puzzled why we continue to allow things to possess our
lakefront. I can’t imagine putting something between the
person and a sunrise, and that glorious expanse of water.

As for the veterans, I believe they should be honored,
but not with every proposal that comes down the pike.
You could buy mom a diamond necklace on the argument:
nothing’s too good for Mom. But if you mortgaged the house
or robbed your children of a college education? Isn’t
there some kind of balance? Do we have to use every
nook and cranny of our living space to remember wars?

Here is a proposal for $20 million.

Save the Soldiers Home.

The US VA wants to privatize Soldiers Home and dump the
expense of maintaining it. It could become just another
shopping mall (in an idyllic setting). Hooray, more stores.
Or we could find the money to maintain it as a tribute
to the soldiers of the 19th century (pre and post Civil War
conflicts) who built it with their meager pensions. I do
believe what they did is a better tribute, than what the
Iowa (the boat) might have done (never saw combat; has
no connection to Wisconsin).

Everyone wants that shoreline.

How about saving it for everyone?


Dear Ms. Esch:

I will be unable to attend the public hearing on January 19, but would like to voice my opposition to the plan to install the USS Des Moines at our lakefront. As a long-time resident of Milwaukee’s east side, I firmly believe that we need to do all we can to preserve the integrity of the shoreline; a warship in our waters would serve to do just the opposite. Surely a better, more suitable naval memorial can be conceived.

Our lake is suffering as it is; this proposal can only aggravate an already deteriorating situation. I do believe our money and efforts would be better spent in trying to alleviate the problem of rotting algae along the shoreline.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Lidia Amonson
3045 N Frederick Ave
Milwaukee 53211


From: richard ippolito <>
To: <>
Subject: Milwaukee Lakefront Project
Cc: <Godsil@milwaukeerenaissance …snip… Frautschi <>

Julie, I am NOT in favor of having the USS DesMoines at the lakefront.
If there’s $20million to do this, that money would be more wisely spent on restoration of the fantastic buildings at the Wood VA Center grounds in Milwaukee. Why ‘waste’ money at the lakefront when it can be readily used to save the VA Center??

Richard Ippolito
Colonel, USA, Retired


Ms. Esch

I am writing to let you know that I feel bringing the USS Des Moines to Milwaukee to obstruct the view of the lakefront is the most colossally stupid thing I have ever heard.

Please make the members of the Lakefront Development Advisory Commission aware of the fact that this idea would destroy the beauty of Veteran’s Park and create an eyesore and tax drain on the city for decades to come.

I am strongly opposed to this waste our city’s greatest asset - the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Jeffrey W. Krueger


My name is Linda Nieft and I live at 3159 S. Pine Avenue in Milwaukee.

I am writing this letter because I am against the idea to berth the 1948 warship the USS Des Moines along Milwaukee’s Lakefront at Veteran’s Park.

I am against this for many reasons. There is the cost, the lack of planning or fund raising for this project but mostly I am against giving up something that can never be replaced - the access to our lakefront. I grew up in Chicago where the lakefront is open and unobstructed. Milwaukee has a section of lakefront that is open and unobstructed and we should do all we can to preserve this access for our generation and all generations to come. Once the lakefront is gone there is no way to replace this resource.

I think there are more appropriate ways to honor those who have served our country. I am a daughter of a man who served in World War II and thus I have strong feelings about recognizing this generation and their sacrifice to our country. I do not think that having a ship that never saw action in World Wa II and that has no connection to Wisconsin is the way to do it. I especially feel that helping to limit access to the Lakefront and the view of the Lakefront is not the way to honor these brave people.

It saddens me that I wll be called unpatriotic for this stand. While our nation is at war we seem to put aside good judgment in our haste to
appear patriotic and supportive of our troops. As a child I would go with my parents to the polls at every election and my father would tell me that he fought and was injured protecting my right to speak my mind and vote. It was my duty to cherish my freedom and to never let anything intimidate me from voting or stating my beliefs.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.

Linda Nieft


Dear Julie,

I was really upset when I found out this warship is being considered to be docked on our beautiful lakefront. Citizens and legislators have worked hard at planning a beautiful area to retreat to and appreciate the beauty of a calm and peaceful lake and its surroundings. Having a warship there completely takes away from the beauty of nature. It adds a very devisive topic to a public land. Not everyone is happy with war and this ship certainly represents this. I also wonder at the implications of cost, pollution, extra traffic, etc. in an area that is balanced and gently cared for. As a life-long Milwaukee citizen for 47 years, I vote no to this.

Thank you for considering my viewpoint.

Kristina Paris
PO Box 11526
Milwaukee, WI 53211–0526


From: Michael Drew <>

Dear Ms. Esch:

I think the proposal to berth the aged USS Des Moines adjacent to Veterans Park would be a disaster on countless grounds.
To list a few:
It would hinder sailing anywhere within 200 yards of the boat because of wind shadow.
It would severely impact the operations of the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center for that reason and because it would block the view of on-water classes from the Center.
It would impinge drastically on the public’s views of Lake Michigan.
It would pose severe environmental concerns because of present and future condition of the ship.
It would drastically impact traffic and parking in the landfill area.
It would pose large unforeseen costs to county residents, growing as time goes on.
There would be a number of other negative nintended consequences.
Thanks for your time and attention.

M.H. Drew and Alice Hanson-Drew
4141 N Ardmore
Shorewood, Wi. 53211


From: Theresa Lorbiecki <>
Subject: copy

Greetings Ms Esch:

This message is my big NO to the berthing of the Des Moines along our beautiful lake front. That property is too precious to be wasted on a behemoth that will cost tax payers money and will be a burden for generations to come. The term “party boat” is especially repellant to me and a tourist attraction? We have more to offere people than a rusting hulk that has not connection to our city or to our Great Lake.
Sincerely, Theresa C. Lorbiecki


From: Troy Freund <>
Subject: Des Moines opposition letter, to Ms. Julie Esch

Hello Ms. Esch,

Just a short email to voice my objection to the idea of permanently docking the USS Des Moines at our-Milwaukee’s-lakefront. I would hate to see our beautiful lakefront marred by this gigantic mass of metal.
We don’t need that ship in Milwaukee.

Troy Freund
522 E. Homer St.
Milwaukee, WI 53207


From: “Roxanne Dascenzo” <>
Subject: Say “No” to U.S.S. Des Moines

I am writing to encourage you to please recommend aborting the plan to place a war ship along our city’s lake shore line. I feel it’s important to continue our city’s valued legacy, which is to view public access to nature as a high priority. I agree with Charles Whitnall that city dwellers need contact with nature, and that we “should feel the environmental influence of natural shores.” We, the citizens of Milwaukee, need to pass up this “opportunity” to park a War Ship at our lake front. We don’t need this eyesore to sully our vision of our greatest natural asset, Lake Michigan.

Please say no to the U.S.S. Des Moines. Thank you.

Roxanne Dunkelberger


From: Paul Seifert <>
Subject: No battleship please

As 25 year residents of Milwaukee we would like to make our displeasure known regarding the placement of a giant retired battleship on our lakefront. There are alot of other icons that would find at least the same level of support that the Des Moines does. How about a statue of the Russian commander who did not mis-interpret flashes of sunlight off American West Coast missle silos as being hostile incoming when his satellite defense system and cohorts were telling him differently. The mention was just in the Journal…I forget the year.
The guy is now pretty destitute somewhere outside of Moscow. We should commision not only a bronze statue to him but build he and his family a house with huge grounds on the lakefront where we could take our grandkids to play. The DesMoines would be repelling.

Paul Seifert
3426 N. Fratney St.
Milwaukee WI 53212


Dear Ms. Julie Esch,

I enjoy the parks in Milwaukee county. But I do not think bringing a warship into our harbor is a good idea. Even if the county had lots of money or did not have to pay a dime for this, I still think this plan would take away from the beauty of the lakeshore.
The veterans I know are not impressed with this memorial, and would rather see help give to those vets who have fallen on hard times. It sounds more like a commercial venture, with the county on the hook. And the county is me.


Kathleen Slamka


January 9, 2005

To: Lakefront Development Advisory Commission

I write to ask you to oppose plans to locate a warship, the USS Des Moines, on Milwaukee’s lakefront.

As a veteran, I appreciate the fact that we have Veterans Park and the War Memorial (although I hope it is the veterans and their sacrifice, not the wars, that we honor).

I do not support the ill-conceived idea to bring the Des Moines here. Although it may have been proposed by some well-meaning veterans, the idea is a bad one. I hope that the fact that it has a “veterans” tag attached to it does not prevent you from taking a strong stand against it.

It doesn’t make sense either economically or aesthetically. It has no connection to Milwaukee and is a warship that never even went to war.

If there is $20-million able to be raised for such a project, let’s raise that $20-million and put it toward programs for the many Milwaukee area veterans who need help.

One final note: I know some have suggested that the location at Veterans Park is the problem, and that another location might make the project acceptable. One suggestion was the area near the high-speed ferry’s dock. Bay View residents have no interest in seeing the ship here on the South Side, either. It is not the location that’s the problem. It is the basic idea.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bill Christofferson

Last edited by bs. Based on work by g and BillSell.  Page last modified on December 28, 2005

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