Below is a flyer detailing information on a public hearing on Wednesday Jan. 19, 6:30 p.m., on plans to permanently berth the USS Des Moines at the lakefront. The hearing is at the Harbor Lights Room, Downtown Transit Center, 909 E. Michigan St. (Enter the Transit Center via the ground floor on the south side of Michigan and go to the 2nd floor.)

The flyer is in two forms: a text document (below), and a PDF attachment.

Please forward this as soon as possible to as many people as possible. Ask them to forward it as well. Because of the Holiday, we also ask that you resend it in early January.


Save Our Lakefront!
Why berthing the USS Des Moines
at the Lakefront is a bad idea.

Plans are underway to berth the 1948 warship the USS Des Moines along Milwaukee’s Lakefront at Veteran’s Park - an urban green space nationally recognized for its public access and unparalleled views of Lake Michigan. Here are five reasons the plan is a bad idea.

    * Costs. The cruiser is currently moth-balled at a Philadelphia shipyard and approximately $20 million is needed to bring it to Milwaukee. Supporters say they will raise private funds but have not demonstrated the ability to do so. Nor have they been able to ensure the project’s long-term financial viability. Will taxpayers be left footing the bill? Why should USS Des Moines promoters be given a 99-year rent-free lease, as they have proposed?

    * A tourist attraction is inappropriate. If there is $20 million available, it would be better spent on social services for veterans or a more solemn tribute. A tourist attraction charging an entrance fee and relying on parties and camp-outs is not a fitting tribute.

    * Lakefront views will be obstructed. The ship is the length of two football fields and its main bulk is six stories high. Utility hookups will be needed. In addition, the project will undoubtedly need night-time lighting and barbed-wire fencing to maintain security.

    * Public access will be threatened. Given the ship’s size, location and need for security, public access to the lakefront will be severely restricted. Other popular activities may be jeopardized - from kite-flying, to sailing within the breakwater (the ship is so big it will block the wind) to the Lakefront’s signature public event, the July 3 fireworks.

    * The plan is ill-conceived. Supporters have not answered essential questions about parking, utility needs, or finances. Nor have proponents provided sufficient information about dredging the lake in order to accommodate the ship and constructing an additional breakwater to protect it. In 1998, citizens in Duluth defeated a proposal to bring the USS Des Moines to their city by a 60%−40% vote. Milwaukee does not need the rejected projects of other cities.

    * Environmental contamination. Old warships are notorious for problems of asbestos, lead-based paint, mercury, and PCB’s. There has been little discussion of the environmental repercussions of parking needs, bus and delivery access, and increased car and bus traffic. 

Mark your calendars for Jan. 19, 2005
A public hearing will be held on Wednesday Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m., at the Harbor Lights Room, Downtown Transit Center, 909 E. Michigan St. (Enter the Transit Center via the ground floor on the south side of Michigan and go to the 2nd floor.)

Leaflet prepared by Preserve Our Parks, a non-profit group dedicated to defending public access and green space at our parks and to protecting Milwaukee’s downtown lakefront.

Visit the Preserve Our Parks web-site ( for updates and to register your opposition to the USS Des Moines at the Lakefront.
Barbara Miner
1247 E. Burleigh St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414–264–3600
Tributes to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Midwest Veterans That Are Proper and Fitting versus Artificial, Ugly, and Possibly Cynical Manipulations of Veterans Issues

Godsil Letter to Architects Keane and Keane for Power Point Presentation at Hearing

I have learned very much about some harsh realities regarding tributes to our veterans this past year.

For 15 years now Milwaukee has paid very little attention to the most magnificent symbol of all of our veterans from all of our services, i.e. the Soldiers Home just to the west of Miller Park.

To this date, after much effort, very few of the current alderman or county board members have yet to actually visit the Soldiers Home and see the disgraceful state of awe-inspiring
buildings constructed in the aftermath of the Civil War. Actually, very few of Milwaukee or Wisconsin’s civil leaders and intellectuals know anything about the Soldiers Home. Nor have many of them enjoyed its beauty and experienced its deep meaning and glory.

Lately there has been some stirring in the Mayor’s office and DCD around this issue. It is my intuition that Milwuakee will, at the last moment, rise to the occasion and make great use of these priceless buildings and sacred grounds.

The veterans groups are very poorly organized around this issue. But they are vastly more predisposed to support spending community resources for Saving the Soldiers Home versus a giant steel warship as tourist sideshow on our Lakefront.

Please don’t imagine that there will be a groundswell of veterans’ support for this big ship.

Please don’t allow the notion that county supervisors will be bullied by a handful of people with a tasteless scheme involving a warship that has nothing to do with Milwaukee’s history or cityscape.

Please help me inspire the people prepared to rally against this despoilation of our Lakefront to make a connection with the Save the Soldiers Home Movement.

Why not have a gathering at the Soldiers Home to talk about linking these two great causes?

Save the Lakefront.

Save the Soldiers Home.

The patriotic and veterans themes fit in perfectly with the Save the Soldiers Home Movement.

We can pay tribute to the veterans.
We can pay homage to the beauty of our lakefront and block its despoilation.
We can rally the community behind an authentic tribute to our veterans.

Athens, not Sparta, should inspire our fair city’s renaissance.

Milwaukee was once widely known as “The German American Athens” at the turn of the century. Only the raging anti-German sentiment of WW I era took that concept from our consciousness today. Now we can aspire to become an “American Athens,” or, say Portland?

Cleo Pruitt and Sandy Folaron have strong connections with the leaders of the Save the Soldiers Home movement, Laura Rinaldi and Patricia Lynch. Laura and Pat speak for scores of veterans
groups with whom they have worked for years.

I would be thunderstruck if they thought we should have yet one more reason to continue our neglect of the Soldiers Home.

Godsil, Bill Sell <>,, Barbara Miner?,, Tess Reiss <>,, Rick Kissell <>,,,,,,,,, <>,,,,,,, <>, <>,, Bob Greenstreet <>,,, Natalie Dorman <>, <>,,,,,,,,,,,,, Steve Filmanowicz <>,,, Jeff Eagan <>

Dear All,

Happy New Year!

It is easy to imagine bus parties from Sven’s in Bay View and from Timbuktu in Harambee/Riverwest on January 19th to carry people to testify against a warship despoiling our Lakefront and distracting our veterans and citizens from the Save the Soldiers Home Movement.

Back around 1974 Jeff Eagen sparked the Save the Locust St. Movement as a 20 something year old community organizer(VISTA dollars at work!). ESHAC hired a bus and took a couple of busloads of new and old working class Riverwesters to “fight city hall.” They won! And today Locust St. Days, ably led by Tess Reiss and backed up by incredibly competent neighbors, is testimony to the importance of urban design for our social and economic well being.

If any of you think it a good idea to organize bus parties from different parts of town let’s have breakfast at Timbuktu Friday of next week, at 8 a.m. on Center and Booth to talk about it. Or, if you would wish to have on-line conversations about the partnerships to Save the Lakefront and the Soldiers Home, one of our internet wizzards who have been diligently helping us construct a quite useful “social brain,” e.g. Bill Sell, Virginia Cassel, James Carlson, Tegan Dowling, might create a yahoo group dedicated to Save the Lakefront. Save the Soldiers Home.

Which of our county supervisors or alderman will organize a bus party from their district to Save teh Lakefront and Save the Soldiers Home?

What say?

Clear sailing for 2005,


Toward a new nation,

Conceived in liberty,

And dedicated to the proposition that

All of us are created equal,

And each of us deserves

The fullest measure possible,

Of life, liberty, and happiness.

And we re-dedicate ourselves

To the unfinished business

Of this nation so conceived,

So that those who have given

The full measure of devotion,

Shall not have died in vain.

These principles and images

Are our children’s birthright.

Democracy and equality

Must be won anew each generation.

There are sacred public places

Where these concepts

Can be evocatively passed along

To the new generations.

Our Lakefront is one of those sacred places.

Our Soldiers Homes and Grounds is another.

This Summer at the Milwaukee NAACP National Convention,

July 9 through July 14,

It is hoped that the nation will join Milwaukee

In celebrating the great achievements of the NAACP,

a venerable institution 3 generations old,

Our most effective defender and promoter of civil rights

For all of God’s children,

Throughout the 20th Century.

We are hoping tha Barack Obama

Will join our local leaders and the leaders of

This nation’s NAACP, and

Commemorate the Often Neglected Contribution

Of minority veterans and their families


We should not become distracted from Saving the Soldiers Home

And offering the NAACP and the nation compelling testimony

Of Milwaukee’s 21st Century commitment to civil rights, peace, and social justice.

John Lunz Announces Matt Flynn’s Joining Coalition to Save the Lake
from the Warship

From: “John Lunz” <>

Subject: Re: Matt Flynn a Navy Veteran Who Might Support Our Cause

Matt Flynn has agreed to join the newly created “Veterans for an Open Lakefront”, a group formed specifically to rally veterans against the des Moines. Please continue to spread the word to veterans. The pop web site will have an easy way for veterans to sign on, or they can email me at, or call 702–7288.

john lunz

Kat Keller of “Bay View Compass” Lends a Hand

Subject: FW: Milwaukwaukee Bus Parties to Block the Warship, Save the

        Lakefront and Save the Soldiers Home 

From: K Keller? <>
To: Jim Godsil <>

Hi Godsil,
If it seems that this event is going to happen, let me know. I’ll put it in
the BV Compass calendar, and include a blurb, if we have room.


Coalition Leader Endorses Asking GLBT Community to Join the Coalition

From: D Schlieman?
Subject: Re: The GLBT Community Helps Save the Lake Save the Soldiers Home
To: …snip…

   Ayris B?, 

You are right on….I thank you in advance for doing so.

Last edited by g.   Page last modified on January 24, 2005

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