The spirit of Hunter S. Thompson was apparently alive for years at the staid Business Journal. The byline of longtime real estate reporter Pete Millard suddenly disappeared this summer, and Editor Mark Kass and the rest of the staff wouldn’t say why, even after former Daily Reporter staffer Sean Ryan was hired to replace Millard. It turns out that Lewin J. Millard, as Pete is legally known, was arrested in late May in Grant County on seven charges, including drunk driving, possession of THC and drug paraphernalia, carrying a gun where alcohol is sold and open intoxicants in his vehicle. As old Hunter might have advised Millard, “Never turn your back on a drug.”
UW-Milwaukee philosophy professor John Koethe moonlights as a poet. He’s been called “one of our foremost Romantic poets” by critic Andrew Yaphe and has been included in anthologies such as Best American Poetry. In September, Koethe’s latest effort, Ninety-Fifth Street, was chosen the best book of poetry in 2009 by The Academy of American Poets, which comes with an award of $25,000. More cash to spend on all those Mexican restaurants Koethe loves, a subject he has written about for this magazine.
Scott Yance, Erik of Norway’s creative director, brought MKE to NYC in September, styling hair for the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. A 17-year industry vet, Yance describes fashion week as “packed, crazy, awesome.” Working with Erik of Norway stylists Paul Weresch and B.J. Rademann, they helped perfect hundreds of models’ manes.
Talk about an unusual international summit. In Kurdistan this summer, Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, wife of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, met with 11 Menominee Indian representatives from Keshena, Wis., including tribal legislature council member Kenneth Fish, as well as Kurdistan Regional Government rep Dasko Shirwani, Menominee nation lobbyist (and former Wisconsin legislator) Joseph Strohl and lobbyist (and former Milwaukee alderwoman) Cindi Broydrick. The cultural exchange showed that Kurds and Native Americans, both tribal people, have interesting cultural commonalities. As Broydrick says, “They’re survivors, and that’s something to celebrate.”
Climbing 10 mountains in 10 years is a lofty goal. But Milwaukee’s Tom Sabourin, GE Healthcare employee and advocate for Parkinson’s disease awareness, has joined The Regulars, a group whose mission includes scaling those peaks while helping Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases ascend in recognition and funding. “The cost of all the travel and the climb is covered by the climbers,” Sabourin says. “Everything they raise goes directly to whatever Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease organizations they want.” Intrigued, Back Light Productions turned the journey into 10 Mountains 10 Years, a 78-minute documentary focusing on The Regulars’ climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro. Narrated by Anne Hathaway and directed by Jennifer Yee, the movie’s proceeds will go to help the cause.
Two other films with local ties are being planned. Milwaukee’s Duncan Group partnered with Crouse Entertainment Group and Duane Huey of Iowa Public Television on a made-for-TV presidential biography. Tentatively titled Watershed – A Portrait of President Ronald Reagan, its executive producer, writer and director is Chip Duncan, and it will be released in late 2011. And Milwaukee’s Dr. Richard W. Meyers will be the focus of a major motion picture created by Hollywood’s Suzanne DeLaurentiis. The CMO, based on Meyers’ days as chief medical officer for the U.S. military, will blend fact and fiction to dramatize his job assessing the mental and physical health of armed forces hopefuls – “applicants in their teens, primarily just starting out on their careers, transitioning into young adulthood,” Meyers says. The next feel-good movie of the year?
Jim Finnerty found his passion for painting while studying under Guido Brink and Ralph Thomas in the late ’60s at Milwaukee’s old Layton School of Art. He put down his acrylics to serve in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from March 1967 to 1968 and came home with post-traumatic stress disorder. But about five years ago, Finnerty picked up the paints again and made a series related to his war experiences. The first painting, The Year of the Monkey, placed second in the military combat experience category at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in La Crosse, Wis. And fellow Milwaukee vet Jeff Hopkins was first in the knotting category, no doubt defeating a slew of sailors.
Flash Back 25 Years
Major League drug problems were around long before the days of steroids. Case in point: Milwaukee Magazine’s October 1985 story by James Romenesko, “Off Their Pedestals: The Baseball Drug Papers,” revealed a cocaine crisis among the Milwaukee Brewers. Paul Molitor (right), who played with the Brew Crew until 1992, admitted to cocaine use, along with players such as Dick Davis, Lary Sorensen, Sixto Lezcano, Ben Oglivie and Mike Caldwell. All were linked to Molitor’s drug dealer, Tony Peters, as were big-league stars Joe Charboneau, Toby Harrah and Claudell Washington. It was a major league operation, all right