...because vacation is a state of mind.
Balancing on a beam that spans the length of the bridge, Tim Wojnicz lowers a large dip net and pulls out Sucker and Carp fish like he's done every spring for the last 45 years. With a bigger mesh, Wojnicz says he can grab fish faster. His timing is perfect. In the waters near Seventh Street and Sheridan Road, fish are leaving Lake Michigan and swimming up the Pike River to spawn.
"These Suckers are running about three to six pounds on the big ones," Wojnicz said as today's catch flopped on the bridge. "The Sucker is a good tasting meat. The only problem is the bones but when we pickle them, they disintegrate. If you like Herring, it's better than pickled Herring."
On this sunny afternoon,Wojnicz and his crowd stand out. They talk about how their old fishing spot has changed. The area across from Kenosha's popular La Fogata Mexican Grill is dominated more by Carthage students and parents pushing jogging strollers than fishermen. "This used to be so popular that as soon as you got out of high school, you had to run down here to get a (fishing) spot, said Wojnicz. "Nobody is going to do it after we're gone. This is it."
William Merritt, who plans to smoke the Carp he caught, also remembers those days. The fishermen, who were next door neighbors, grew up a couple blocks from here. Even a stranger can see the deep bond they share. "It's still fun. It's still good eating. It's just like being a kid again,"Merritt added. "You don't see your buddies all the time but you can come down here and find them."
It’s Monday morning.
With a high of 80 degrees expected, summer is finally here. 12-year-old Malcom Johnson, tired of spending winter days indoors, pulls out his bike and gathers with friends near 14th and Lewis streets. Chatting and soaking up the sun, they aren’t doing anything wrong but they aren’t doing anything productive either.
With nothing else to do, more boys on bikes join the mainly African-American and Latino crowd. However, their noise will quickly become too much for Lois Garcia, an elderly North Chicago resident who has lived in the corner house for almost three decades.
It’s a common scenario that plays out in every town, every summer: kids complain they're bored and in a never-ending cycle, adults complain about bored kids.
For the first time in North Chicago, President Obama's My Brother’s Keeper initiative will launch programs to benefit boys like Johnson and his friends. Targeting boys of color, the Annie E. Casey Foundation will sponsor three reading sites across the city.
According to a White House report, "data shows that boys and young men of color, regardless of socio-economic background, are disproportionately at risk throughout the journey from their youngest years to college and career. For instance large disparities remain in reading proficiency, with 86 percent of black boys and 82 percent of Hispanic boys reading below proficiency levels by the fourth grade..."
The My Brother's Keeper reading program is designed by Harvard University professor, Gary Knight. The curriculum focuses on children who test up to one year behind their grade level.
"This is perhaps one of the most important programs we've organized in the City of North Chicago," says Mayor Leon Rockingham, Jr. "Our future depends on our ability to educate the boys in this city. This program will have a significant impact without asking for more money from taxpayers."
My Brother's Keeper reading sites will be located at the following locations:
North Chicago Community Health Center 2215 14th Street
Yeager Elementary School 1811 Morrow Avenue
Lake County Boys and Girls Club 33 Boys and Girls Way
For more information, residents may contact Kim Dawson-Brooks at 847-596-8600.
“We love these cars. We love the people. We love what it does for Kenosha.
Everybody who gets on these cars gets the biggest smile on their face. My family gets joy by seeing other people enjoy this.”
- Bradley Preston
Bradley Preston has the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Hop on his streetcar in downtown Kenosha and Preston will transport you to a world that feels like a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Inside Preston’s red, 1951 Presidents’ Conference Committee streetcar, cheerful hearts hang from the ceiling.Metal support poles are lovingly converted to mouth-watering peppermint sticks. Giant hearts on the front and back of the streetcar deliver a message of love as the streetcar loops around the track.
These Valentine's Day decorations are a welcome surprise to Kenosha streetcar fans who typically expect the decked out cars only at Christmas or Halloween. Preston’s wife, Lori suggested the new Valentine’s Day theme and even combed local stores looking for material. A niece, in-laws and others hung many of the ornaments that make this car special.
As you talk with Preston, a Kenosha Area Transit streetcar mechanic, it’s easy to see his passion for the city’s streetcars. However, you’ll also discover his love for Kenosha’s historic downtown. In fact, Preston says the streetcar plays an important role when it comes to building a healthy downtown.
It has become an iconic symbol of Kenosha,” Preston says. “So many of the emblems for Kenosha include a streetcar. It’s just one of the things that make Kenosha what it is today. We know that people come here from all over the world and we can show them all the places that the streetcar goes by.”
If Valentine’s Day is the day you show love, Preston’s streetcar provides the perfect backdrop. The festive ride is perfect for parents looking to create a memorable Valentine’s Day experience for young children. And if you want to show that you put some time and thought into this Valentine’s Day date night, Kenosha’s streetcar is just what you need to say, I love you.
Looking for something to do as the cold weather continues for another four months?
I've been in the Midwest most my life but around this time of year, I'm sick of the cold. Even the kids start to complain. Recently, I've heard a lot of parents asking - what's to do?
I'm still new to Kenosha but already the Kenosha YMCA ranks high on my list. It's our refuge even when the temperature dips well below zero. For $98 per student, the Y offers 45-minute swim lessons that are hard to beat. When summer does get here, the girls will be ready for the Wisconsin lakes we plan to explore.