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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

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  • Cleavage Alert

    The Latest Barbie Controversy

    Ok, I admit it.

  • 2/15/07 Fullfilling a Dream

    There is nothing more inspirational than to meet a person who has turned their life around. They are beacons that throw light on wayward travelers. I have been blessed to have watched a Milwaukee woman grow personally and professionally. I first met Sandra Richardson in 2003. She was E.R. Wagner's first woman and African American hinge line operator. What really moves me is her story. Sandra was once homeless and addicted to crack and dealing drugs. She is also a survivor or rape. But Richardson has been drug free for 17 years ago. Today she's a woman of faith working two jobs. Richardson's latest job fulfills a life-long dream to own her own clothing store. But to accomplish her goal, Richardson did not leave her full time job as a machinist. Instead, she is working overtime to grow her new store at 79th and Appleton. She runs it with her partner Shirley Rowsey. We recently taped a Positively Milwaukee at "Richardson-Rowsey/Unique Sizes Unlimited." I saw what perseverance, hard work, and faith can accomplish. Sandra Richardson continues her journey. I am blessed I got to travel along at least part of the way.

  • 2/22/07 "Remembering Bo”

    Have you ever met a person you felt like you have known your whole life? That is how I felt when got a chance to get to know former Summerfest Executive Director Bo Black. I really found out what kind of person Bo Black was when former first lady Sue Ann Thompson, asked Bo and me to be honorary co-chairs of a women’s health walk. I loved Bo right away. She’s down to earth, fun, has a great sense of humor. But most importantly, this mother of three has a great soul. Bo loves Milwaukee and helping others. She’s real, authentic, and genuine, and kind. While Bo is known for her beauty, she is also smart. Being around Bo is to be in the company of a dynamo. She has a natural magnetism and appeal that is rare. It’s a star quality that you really cannot teach or buy. You either have it or you do not. Bo does. Bo has fans of both sexes. Women and men are quick to sing her praises. She’s widely known for helping young people especially minority teens. I still get calls from people who tell me t the former Summerfest Star gave them their start. Bo Black worked with some of the top celebrities of the world. But what’s impressive are the calls I’ve gotten from regular folks...a waitress, a teacher, or a student. They share stories about how Bo impacted their lives. Bo was blessed with good looks. But she is just as smart as she is beautiful. Bo Black may thrive in the spotlight, but she does not crave it. That can mean the difference between being deep or being shallow. Bo has depth. When I interviewed Bo in Phoenix this past fall I found that Bo still had a lot of spark. She lamented her weight gain from all of the medicine. To be honest, I could not see it. To me she still looked fabulous. During that interview, Bo had one primary concern. Warn others to get their blood pressure under control. Even while sick, Bo Black reached out to others. And that’s why we all feel a connection to Milwaukee’s Hometown Queen. Bo, has graced our lives and warmed our hearts. Because of Bo Black, it will always be summer in Milwaukee!!!

  • 3/06/07 "The Gift of NFL Legend Willie Davis".

    There are days when I like my job. And there are days when I really love my job. Like the day I interviewed NFL Hall of Famer Willie Davis. We all know about his success on the field. Willie Davis made All Pro five times during the Packers glory years. He played in 6 NFL title games including the Packers first Super Bowls in the sixties. But Willie Davis did not rest on past laurels. After football, he started a entirely new career. But before embarking in the business world, Davis earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. He tackled his new career with the same determination and dedication he had in football. Today Willie Davis, president of All Pro Broadcasting Incorporated has sat on the boards of numerous Fortune 500 Companies..including MGM Mirage, Manpower, Sara Lee...Dow Chemicals, Johnson Controls, and We name a few. Willie owns radio stations across the country including 3 in Milwaukee. They include 1290 WMCS-AM, 93.3 WJZI-FM and 102.1, WLUM-FM. But this Green Bay Packer Great has a strong commitment to the community. He recently received the Lifetime achievement recognition award from the Mother Kathryn Daniel's Conference Center. That event raised almost 470 thousand dollars. I was proud to emcee the event along with Keith Murphy, President of Conceptz Communications. Money raised will help inner city children. Davis tells me it is important that his radio stations tackle relevant social issues like teen pregnancy, drugs, and education. Willie Davis is a humble gracious man, who believes life is about giving back. He's one of the most successful black entrepreneurs in the country. He understands the value of wealth. But one of his proudest accomplishments? Making enough money to retire his hardworking single mother. When many people see Willie Davis often they see a rich man. But what I see is not his portfolio, but his humanity. I see a great man who makes us all a little richer. We are blessed that Willie Davis is on our team.

  • 3/8/07 "Guaranteed to Make you Smile"

    Here's a story that captured my heart this week.

  • 3/16/07 "Stolen Childhood"

    It may take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one person to harm a child. And often that pain can last a lifetime. I was reminded of that when a lovely lady from Wauwatosa called me recently. Emily Liban had been abused as a child. And a recent news story triggered some of the bad memories. As a child, Emily had been physically, emotionally, and sexually abused...even locked in a basement. She was threatened, and feared for her life. She was too scared to tell others. But an astute teacher helped her get away. Eventually Emily found a loving foster home. But Emily's story is a reminder to all of us. Pay attention to children. Often they are introverted and withdrawn for a reason. Emily lived in several foster homes and endured unspeakable trauma until one sensitive adult saw a child in crisis. Today Emily has turned her pain into beauty. You would be amazed at her artwork made from counted cross-stitching. There are flowers, scenes of nature, and stunning replicas of Milwaukee landmarks. Psychological intervention helped Emily cope with her painful past. Today Emily loves doting on her grandchildren. She was determined to rise above the assaults. Today, this woman whose childhood was robbed by adult monsters is no longer a prisoner of her past. Emily is an example of quiet beauty, strength and courage. But even at the age of 59, when talking about her life as a young child, the tears come easily. A sad reminder that the pain of childhood abuse is not like never leaves.

  • 4/2/2007 Meekins Musings

    Not so Positive Thoughts

    MEEKINS MUSINGS Is it rudeness or laziness? I do not know. But I feel compelled to write about it. Maybe it's me. But I appreciate the common courtesies in life. Nothing dramatic. Just a simple thank you, a nod ..a smile. Why is this so hard for a growing segment of the population? Case in point. If I am about to walk across a street and a vehicle lets me go first I always smile and hurry across. Just to be nice. I figure that driver was nice enough to need for me to saunter. But what annoys me are those who take their own sweet time. You know the type. They also fail to give you a nod, or a smile of thanks. They feel so special that they take their own sweet time. Some even slow down. Some even give you that "I'm so superior look"!! Is it a power trip? Is it rudeness? Or could it be just a lack of awareness of the world outside of themselves. Annoying!!!!! My lesson for courteous in the crosswalk of life...before success rolls right past you.

  • 4/9/07 Meekins Musings

    Well, unfortunately we have plenty of "not so positive" souls out there. After my last blog I received several calls and E-Mails from people tired of encountering those with a lack of civility...or more to the point rude people. Messages came from all over. But this one really struck a chord. How hard could it be to push a cart for another human being? I think we should all be like Brenda..commit random acts of kindness. After all, they create happy faces...and we all know smiles are contagious!!! I am sharing Brenda's e mail with her permission. Hello, First, let me tell you how much I've enjoyed watching your news reporting over the years. You are truly unique and talented! Regarding your blog, I wholeheartedly agree!! People in general have very little patience, respect or courtesy for anyone around them. As I've grown older (I'm 47), I notice I've mellowed. I believe I've forced myself to do so, rather than succumb to the majority who seems to have gone the other direction. I try to do random acts of kindness when I can. And driving the highways always gives me a chance to let someone into traffic in front of me, etc. I need to tell you a recent occurrence in that same vein. Currently, I'm somewhat handicapped, walking with two canes due to my rheumatoid arthritis which, because of an infection has prevented me from taking my wonderful immune-suppressive arthritis drugs. Anyway, I was at our local grocery store a few weeks ago, during some inclement weather. After struggling to unload my groceries from my cart, I asked a middle aged man walking past if he would mind taking my cart back to the store for me. He was walking in that direction. Rather than just do this small act, he started scolding me, asking if I had a small child in the car, telling me he "didn't work at the store". I then told him to forget it, grabbed my canes and proceeded to return my cart. Then guilt took over and he offered to take my cart once he saw my canes. I asked him why he would return it then but not just out of the goodness (if there was any) of his heart. It amazed me that he would take the time to argue with me, rather than just do one small act of kindness. This was in the small town of Lomira. So much for small town hospitality! My husband and I are very happy in our lives and get tired of hearing people constantly whine and complain about their lives. Our motto is, if you don't like something, change it or accept it. We try to enjoy whatever life sends our way. Just annoyed at how people continue to "blame" the world around them for their own unhappiness. A little courtesy and respect goes a long way, I'm just not sure how we'll ever get that back in today's society. We'll just have to do our part and hope it catches on! Thanks for making us smile as we watch the evening news, keep up the great job! Have a great week and a wonderful Easter weekend! Brenda Brown ~a viewer from rural NW Washington County~

  • 5/10/07 "What's Going On?"

    As a former teacher I am horrified at the stories we have been reporting recently. A rash of violent episodes inside classrooms. What is going on? Where is the breakdown? Why are so many young people..and in some cases, their parents misbehaving. I blame many of the problems on the breakdown of the family. This societal flaw is harming more people than war. As a nation, we must do a better job of taking care of our kids. Young people need to feel loved, nurtured, cared for, respected. If they do not get it, they will reach for support in negative ways. Research has found that a vast majority of those in prison are born from teenage mothers. One study in California found that 90 percent of prison inmates between 15 and 19 years old were products of an adolescent pregnancy. How sad! A child cannot raise a child. A child cannot provide a home, the support, the love...the nurturing. Yes, there are success stories. And there are those who have overcome insurmountable odds. We hear a lot about the statistics of teenage pregnancies. Numbers are often reported in newspapers or television news. But to me, these statistics breathe, bleed, and cry. And just like people they cannot be ignored.

  • 5/23/2007 "The Return of Not So Positive"

    At least I am not alone in my distaste for rude people. Steve Gardner of Johnson Direct LLC shared his boss's blog on rude folks with me. And I think it's safe to say Grant Johnson nailed it..check it out.!!!

  • 7/23/07 Sex Story For Women Only Part 3

    Last week I told you about Steve Gardner's response to my blog "Sex Story ..For Women Only". Gardner understands the pain of eating disorders more than most. His own blog on the topic excellent!! You should check it out. It will hit home for anyone who cares about the young people and their self image.

  • 8/23/07 "Where's the Good News?"

    I hear it all the time. Why not more good news. Many people want more stories of hope and inspiration from television news. They also want more assurances that the world has not gone totally awry.

  • 8/28/07 "Possible Reason for the Popularity of Thongs"

    This is hilarious check it out!!!! It was sent to me by a lovely couple I interviewed for Positively Milwaukee. They have done missionary work around the world. As you can see, they have a wonderful sense of humor..

  • 8/29/07 "A Soldier Farewell"

    If you are enjoying life

  • "Live at 10:00" Secrets Revealed

    Lance "Is that really your name" Allan

    OK...I'm in the mood for a little fun. Its Friday. If you happened to miss the 10:00 news Friday June 1st you missed Lance Allan's interview with cycling great Lance Armstrong. A great piece! But I digress. At the end of the report, Lance joked that he and the Tour de France winner had the same first name and the same initials.( Armstrong changed his last name to honor his stepfather.) Then, Milwaukee's Lance admitted that Allan was his middle name. Suddenly my own brain's wheels were spinning....I had a commercial break mission. Find out Lance Allan's real last name. Mission Accomplished. Are you ready!!!!!!!Drum roll please.!!!!! Time now for sports Here's Lance Hajdasz! I know what you're thinking. How do you pronounce that? Well, Lance tells me it's Hidas like Midas. It's Polish. Lance admits people almost always mess it up. . But no worries with Allan. It's easy to say, easy to spell. But I think now when I see our spots star off camera..I will have to call Lance Allan by his real name.Just for fun. Note to self!!! Midas...Hidas like Midas...Hidas like Midas...

  • 6/27/07 "Juneteenth, I Wonder"

    As I looked at our exclusive video of the assault on an innocent victim during over the past week or so, I have wondered a lot about who they are. I have also wondered why? And as I look at the sad picture of young people out of control...I think of the many young people I have interviewed for Positively Milwaukee who were so in control. I wonder, would those young men have been so cruel had they had a loving grandfather like Rocky Rochester. He's the grandfather of 10 year old Johntrell Dixon. Johntrell is a talented young African American student I interviewed for "Positively Milwaukee." March of last year. His grandfather "Rocky" was filled with energy, light, and love when he talked about his grandson. Rocky called me one day beaming with pride. He wanted to let me know he was proud Johntrell. He was delighted that Johntrell had written a science fiction book at the age of 8. Rocky, who writes poetry himself had turned his grandson on to the joy of writing and reading. Rocky took great delight in helping Johntrell with his homework. He told me how he spent a lot of time with Johntrell after school. During those precious moments, it was clear that Rocky inspires, guides, mentors...and gives love. Rocky is a role model, a nurturer, a good man. He's aware of the evils in society, and is working hard to motivate and protect his grandson. All week while watching the horrific scenes of our exclusive video I thought about Rocky and his grandson Johntrell. I wondered..if those young men had a "Rocky" in their lives would they have been somewhere else. Would they be using their time constructively? I decided to check up on rocky today. I wanted to know how Johntrell was doing. Well, Rocky answers the phone with the same excitement and pride. He is still proud. Johntrell, s now 10 years old. Yes, he's still getting good grades. Yes, Rocky is still helping Johntrell. This week Johntrell is away at camp on a school project. Keeping busy, staying productive using his energy in a positive way. When I finish talking to Rocky, I cannot help but feel sad. If only every young man had a "Rocky" in their lives.

  • 7/02/2007 "A Toast To America"

    It's almost Independence Day..and this is a week we should all rejoice!!! For me, it's a time to celebrate and a time to reflect. We are lucky. We are Americans. No we are not perfect. Our country faces plenty of challenges, and we have plenty of flaws. Still, we are the greatest country on earth. I know, because I can drink the water. Let me explain. Because my dad was in the Air Force, I spent, part of my childhood overseas. I have plenty of memories growing up in Izmir Turkey. But one I have never forgotten was not being able to drink the water that came out of faucets. It's a simple amenity, most of us take for granted. In order to drink the water, we actually had to treat it ourselves. The government told us to put drops of Clorox in our water before we drank it. So we dutifully prepared gallons of water. ( I don't even want to think about how those toxins affected my body...but I'm still alive..ha..ha!!!!) Such a household chore seems almost shocking when you think of the modern water treatment plants here in the United States. But every time I drink water I feel a small tinge of patriotism. I think what a great country. You may be thinking all that from a glass of water? Well, yes. Because I know what it's like when you can't drink the water. And, I know what it's like not to live in the greatest country on earth. So this July 4th raise your water glasses high and thank God you're and American.

  • 7/06/07 Sex Story: For Women Only

    It's always puzzled me. Why a women's self esteem is so much lower than men's. What's the deal? I mean, you can talk to the most beautiful woman and she will within seconds easily let you know that she does not feel so beautiful. Of course she thinks she's fat. She may not like her thighs, her hips, or whatever. But you can talk to a man..and more often than not, he is perfectly OK with himself. He's feeling great. He may have a pot belly, crooked teeth or wrinkles....but he likes himself. He may even believe he's a stud!! Sadly, many young girls look at cover girls and aspire to look like the models or movie stars they see on the screen. Maybe they want to be like Beyonce. Lindsay Lohan, or dare I say..Paris Hilton. Often their dreams of a specific body type are unattainable and impossible. Have you ever heard a man say.. if only my body was like Brett Favre's. Why can't I be as handsome as Michael Jordan or Brad Pit? Why? It's because this culture accepts men for what they are...wrinkles, pot bellies, jowls and all. That's why I decided long ago to think like a man!! I know it sounds crazy. But I refuse to beat myself up because I am not perfect. I find myself quite charming anyhow...ha..ha!!! Plus, I have seen Hollywood's perfection.. it's airbrushed and often boring!! I frequently give speeches to young girls. When they start to bemoan their looks, I give them a simple exercise. Go the mall, a festival, a fair..whatever. Check out the wide variety of people. Count the next twenty people you see. Chances are you look better than most of them..Ha..ha..!!!! Then go home and rejoice...and spend the rest of your life accepting yourself and loving yourself..flaws and all. Think like a man!!!!

  • Milwaukee, don't hate yourself!!!! 7/14/07

    On a beautiful day, with glorious weather, I cannot help but feel proud to live in Milwaukee. We are so blessed with so many treasures that it's amazing that Milwaukee suffers from a poor self image. Case in point. This week thousands are taking in the sights and sounds of Bastille Days. For the rest of the season there will be a Festival every week. How many cities can boast such!!! Of course there are other gems from the Calatrava to Mitchell Park Miller Park..Milwaukee has a lot to offer! But I still hear people say there's nothing to do here. Often I hear people who were born and raised here talk down about their hometown.Why? I remember years ago taking a tour of the West Coast while touring with the University of Illinois Concert Choir. We all stayed with different families. One of our stops was Portland Oregon. All our host family did was brag about the wonderments of Portland. She went on and on about how too many people were moving there. She had true love for her city. She was not happy and wished the city would keep stop growing. She talked at length about the neighborhoods, the landmarks and the charm. We were all just college students and our minds were not heavily on civic pride. At the time I thought she was going overboard! After all we were on our way to San Portland did not exactly seem like a major destination. But now that I am older, wiser, and more interested in civic pride I understand. She was sort of like an ambassador to the place she chose to live. She was like a mother describing her children. Her love of the city was infectious. In fact, years later, if people asked me if I had been to Portland I immediately remarked how lovely it was.But sometimes I wonder, was I just parroting her self-love mantra?.What would I have said had the people in Portland not been so enthusiastic, proud, and loving about their city? What if they had had a bad self image...played up the negatives and dismissed the positives? When a mother first describes her young brood, she will not first say Johnny has ADD, or Sally wets the bed. She will usually highlight the special qualities of her little darlings. I say that's what we should do Milwaukee. We have a lot of discussions about what is wrong with the Brew City. But let's also talk about what is right. Ultimately a healthy self image is the foundation of success. It doesn't matter whether it's a child or a city. Let's talk up our virtues.If we don't who will?

  • 7/17/07- Spreading Love

    Thanks to all of you who called and were inspired by my report on Louise Hunter of Racine. Mother Hunter gave birth to 21 children. While raising her progeny she still found time to serve the poor. Many of you have called and asked about volunteering or donating items to the Love and Charity Mission founded by Mother Hunter. Here is the address and phone number. "Love and Charity Mission 1031 Douglas Avenue Racine, Wi 53402-5109 (262) 634-7059 Main Line

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