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Diary of a Worm’s Life in a Home “Growing Power” Box and Garden

Rain Garden
August 2010

Tomatoes & Basil
from Front Lawn
Garden 2010

Back Yard
Garden 08/02/09

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No Room In Hospital For Ill? - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Asylums are Jails and Prisons

(Based on articleAre Health Systems Failing a Moral Test? (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017)

No Room in Milwaukee Hospitals for the Ill!

In Milwaukee County the County government plans to privatize the treatment at the Mental Health Complex,
Which now is the only place poor and marginalized persons in a major mental crisis can go outside of jail
Over the years, mainly due to a lack of funding by the County for persons with major mental illnesses,
Conditions there have deteriorated and numbers served have declined to where jail is home to more ill persons.
There are three major health care systems in Milwaukee County, Aurora, Froedert and Ascension,
Not one of them these three major health care system wants to treat these poor and marginalized ill.
All three non-profits are profitable, with profit margins of 7.5% to 16.4%.
There is money to be made according to the Director of Milwaukee County Department and Human Services,
But there is money to be made by these non-profits in treatment of persons with commercial insurance.
Aurora, the clear choice, plans to invest 40 million in the Athletic Performance Research Center at Marquette University,
Tied into its nearby Aurora Sinai hospital that used to house a major treatments center for ill with brain illnesses, but no more.
But has no interest in running hospital for persons with major mental illnesses.
Although there is not enough money for the three major Health systems in Milwaukee County,
Two out of State for profit companies are interested in providing the services to Milwaukee County,
One of them is being investigated by the Federal Government for fraud at 20 of its behavior health hospitals,
The other one provides mainly medical and behavioral health care in prisons or sick to prisons and jails.
One wonders how out of state for profit companies can find profit for treatment of those ill with a major mental illness,
While local non-profit health care systems cannot find enough money to care for these poor and marginalized ill persons in community.
There is a sign in Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care Centers of these three large hospital that says:
“If you have a medical emergency you have a right to receive treatment at this place”.
But added in smaller print is “within the capabilities of this hospital’s staff and facilities”.
By ridding themselves of psychiatric and mental health treatment and staff
They can now refuse the poor and marginalized in mental health crisis
The three local health systems say: “there is no room in the inn or hospital for persons with major mental illness,
We only take those ill when we can make more money. Got to Jail”


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When Will Milwaukee Start Replacing Lead Water Service Lines that are Poisoning Our Children? - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Last Friday I attended a Common Council Water Quality Task force and asked this question, which I thought was the goal of Task Force and community groups. This letter to Mayor, which was ignored by him and city officials, sums up their response.

Dear Mayor,
Last weekend I met a young father who had done what he could do to protect his young son from lead poisoning. He had a lead free of paint house, had a water filter for lead in kitchen and used bottled water; yet when his son was tested the child was found to have over 5 micgrograms per deciliter, dangerous amount of lead in his blood. As you know up to 20% of children, 6 and under, tested in predominately African American zips had dangerous amount of lead in blood.

I was present last summer when Alderman Hamilton formed the water quality tax force of Common Council to come up with a comprehensive pan, over time, to replace all lead water pipes. I was disappointed in the City of Milwaukee when there was no funds City 2017 budget to replace lead water pipes in residential, except for some day care centers and broken or leaking lead water service pipes.

So at the public hearing portion of the Water Quality Committee meeting today I asked the simple and direct question: When is the City of Milwaukee going to develop a plan and fund it to replace lead water service lines? The chairmen said there was no dialog with committee but nevertheless he would answer my question. After some back and forth he said that you, Mayor, would present a 2018 budget to the City Council next September that would have some money in it and Common Council would review it. When he saw the expression on my face he said that perhaps I did not understand the process and to wait till next September. The expression on my face was not due to not knowing the process but to the fact this was that this was the same answer that in 2016, Alderman Hamilton, you and others had given us, about the 2017 City Budget. Some had even given specific suggestions to you and Council Members of how the City could finance over about a 20 year period the replacement of all lead lateral water pipes. Yet there was no money in 2017 budget to begin this process for the nearly 70,000 residential homes, mostly in African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods. All the time, I read in the newspaper about city property taxpayer money going for economic development in the predominately white neighborhood of downtown Milwaukee. No one tells developers seeking profits to wait till the next budget year.

So now I ask you Mayor and the Council Members:
When will the City of Milwaukee develop a comprehensive plan and fund it to replace all lead lateral water pipes in residential homes? I have attached a “racial division” spreadsheet showing the connection between lead water pipes in racially divided neighborhoods and the relationship to high lead blood levels, Homicide, poverty and unemployment rate, city TIF investments and educational achievement.

Ignore or marginalize me the messenger, the problem will not go away until City Officials stop talking, blaming, crying poor and spending money on PR and turn around (repent) the direction of this city and do something it.

I have done other research, have maps and contacts to share. Just let me know if you are interested or care.

Bob Graf


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Failure to Admit Racism - Sunday, February 12, 2017

Last Sunday in the Crossroads section of the local newspaper there was an opinion article called “Most Segregated Metro Area,It is Just Not That Simple”. In my opinion this editorial represented of a fundermental problem in Milwaukee, refusing to admit racism and segregation and justifying it. Here is my Letter to the Editor that was not printed.

Dear Editor,
Mr. Gurda’s essay in Sunday’s Crossroads, “Most segregated” Yes, but….” Illustrates the real problem we have with segregation in Milwaukee, failure to acknowledge the problem. He compares Milwaukee’s African American to immigrant communities, German and Polish that once were the majority on North and South side. Many African American ancestors were brought to USA as slaves and did not enjoy the rights of German and Polish Americans immigrants. He calls for more jobs in the African American community, which all can agree. However he fails to mention while the city of Milwaukee invest $3.85 million dollars for economic development (TIF) in two predominately white Zips 53202 and 53203 it only invests $1.5 million dollars for economic development in two, 53206 and 53210, predominately, African American zips. If city was aware of a toxic poison affecting children in predominately white neighborhoods do you think the city would hesitate to solve it? But there is such a problem in the African American neighborhoods with lead water pipes yet the city has no money in 2017 budget and no plans to replace residential lead water pipes. There is a reason why Milwaukee is the worst city to be a black person and to raise a black child. It is! Failure to admit segregation and institutional racism is the problem in Milwaukee.


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