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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

The good news!

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  • 7/18/07 Live at Five Confession- "Accessorize This!"

    7/18/07 Live at Five Confession- "Accessorize This!" Do you consider yourself a fashionista? Me neither! This confession is proof. It's enough to make the Glamour Magazine Don't List. It could make a shopaholic trip over her Prada shoes. I made a fatal fashion faux pas yesterday on the 5:00 news. After I got of the set, I took off my IFB (that's the thing we wear in our ears to hear the producer yell at us about talking too much!) While I was in the dressing room I looked closely at my silver earrings. Suddenly I shrieked in horror! Yes you guessed it. I had done the entire show with two different earrings. As sad as that is...I could not help but crimes make me laugh...even my own! I think I mentioned my mistake to Lauren Leamanczyk who happened to be in the dressing room at the same time..She laughed..and said she couldn't tell. To be fair, the two earrings were similar. She's right..they were. Nevertheless, I have not been brave enough to go back and check the "Live at Five" tape. Since no one called to complain I figured let bygones be bygones. At least my shoes matched..ha..ha..!!!!! So, I got my strength back....and by Live at Six, I was a new woman..back on the air with matching earrings!!! And a new personal commandment.."Thou shall double check your earlobes before you go on live TV!!!!"

  • 7/19/07 "Sex Story For Women Only..And Some Men"

    Heard from many of you about my 7/06/07 blog.."Sex Story for Women Only". One of the more interesting responses I received came from non other than a man..ha..ha..!!! Here's a portion of the e-mail I received from Stephen Gardner of Johnson Direct LLC....I couldn't help but laugh! With his permission here's a portion of his letter. __________________________ "Way to go, Carole … your current post is outstanding. I've been around so long that I actually did public relations for the first-ever eating disorders treatment program in Wisconsin, so this is an issue that I've often reflected upon. It still amazes me that things are no better now than 25 years ago.......if a really handsome guy walks by a table full of guys, we just shrug our shoulders, take a swig of beer, belch, and say: "He's gay!" "

  • 7/20/07 "A Shout Out to One News Consultant"

    News Flash...most of those who work in the TV News business do not have the greatest love for news consultants. For those of you wondering who they are and what they do, basically they come in and tell you how to make things better. They may share opinions on what is right or wrong about your newsroom, newscast, or news anchor. It's a tough job. The men and women usually travel all over the country offering advice in different newsrooms and markets. Over the years I have heard many people share their assessments about consultant A or B. Usually, it's not pretty. Certain words come to mind...Loathe, hate, repugnant, despise, useless, annoying, offensive..ha..ha..!! (For some odd reasons those words make me laugh!!!) I have heard producers call consultants "insultants." That is why I am so fascinated by our newsroom consultant Joseph Rovitto of ClemensenRovitto Incorporated. He comes into the newsroom and just about everyone from the producers to the editors will have positive comments. Even those who have never worked with him. You hear phrases like "I like him".."He's got a great personality"...He gives constructive advice" .."What he says makes sense!" This may seem inconsequential. But I have been in newsrooms where when the consultant arrived..the staff acted like a pariah had jumped out of the water. I've seen people roll their eyes in disgust, leave meetings mad, and render the consultant useless. But that is not the case with Joe. The other day he was in our newsroom, and a new editor came up to me and said out of the blue.."That guy you were talking to seemed really cool." She had no idea who he was or why he was here. But it's simple. Joe is a good guy, He's friendly, smart, and understands the challenges of news. Most importantly, he understands people. He knows how to impart information in a positive and non-demeaning way. Perhaps best of all, Joe is the first to admit he does not know everything. But with his approachable manner, we usually find that he knows more than those who think they do. It's nice to know that even in a profession maligned as much as news consultants...there are standouts and there are winners! Joe you are a pleasure to know and work with!!!

  • 7/24/07 Bo Black Update

    Talked to Bo Black yesterday. She's doing as well as expected. Bo was touched by the giant card she received from all of you. Thanks to the many who signed stopped by the Journal Sentinel Booth at Summerfest to sign it. I find it incredible that people are still sending me cards to forward to Bo! In fact, one of her fans sends me a card every other day. Bo really enjoys hearing from everyone in Milwaukee. She continues to recover after a stroke. Most recently she had a staph infection and had to undergo surgery. She now can do very little without getting out of breath. Bo says it's so hot in Phoenix that she rarely goes outside. In fact, temperatures above 100 even at night!!!! Bo is amazed that so many of you pray for her. It does a lot to lift her spirits!! God Bless You!!!

  • 7/25/07 "Fattest And Drunkest?"

    Oh my!! Old stereotypes die hard. Usually because they are perpetuated by distorted information. I.e..Bucks center Andrew Bogut's description of Milwaukee as the fattest and drunkest city in America. But Mr. Bogut..when it comes to the fattest city..there is evidence to suggest otherwise! Case in point. According to the 2007 Men's Fitness Magazine, Milwaukee is rated the 16Th fittest city.That's fittest not fattest!!!Yes we made the top 25. But wait there's more.The magazine also has a list for the top fattest cities. Guess what! Milwaukee is does not make the list. We are not fat enough!!! Stop laughing I know what you're thinking. Chicago makes it the list. Las Vegas comes in number 1. No surprise there. I admit, I have often loudly proclaimed my distaste for all magazine polls. It's just a way to get free publicity for the publication. But now that Andrew Bogut has proclaimed us fat and drunk, I couldn't hep but check out the Men's Fitness poll. The truth is we are no fatter than any other city. No matter where you live, obesity is a challenge in this country. Let's not act like it's just a Milwaukee thing. It's a national crisis. And we in Milwaukee do ourselves no favors by suggesting it's just us. Maybe someone can send Andrew Bogut a copy of Men's Fitness. Now about the drunkest city comment...well, that's another blog. Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!

  • 7/26/07 "Lesson From Frank Jude"

    The federal trial in the Frank Jude beating case is over. Mayor Tom Barrett called Jude's beating an ugly imprint on Milwaukee. He is right. Sadly, the because of the actions of a few, Milwaukee wears a stain. After todays guilty verdicts for three fired officers, Frank Jude Junior says he is glad to be alive after that fateful day in Bay View. He believes justice was served for those three. He's not so sure about the officer found not guilty. Jude who is biracial was severely beaten when he showed up at a house party where there were several off duty police officers. Frank Jude still feels the scars of physical and emotional trauma and looks forward to healing. Even so, Jude says he has nothing against police officers. In today's press conference Jude said there are good cops and bad cops. A simple statement that applies to all professions, all races, all religions. We cannot judge a group by the actions of a few. That only sparks more hate, pain and oppression and violence. If a man beaten as severely as Frank Jude can see this...why can't we.

  • 7/27/07 "Leave Lindsay Alone"

    She's an easy target for comedians. But as much as I like a good laugh..the plight of Lindsay Lohan is not funny to me. It's sad. It is about a young lady, 21 years old with addiction problems. A young lady at risk of hurting herself and others. We should not take this lightly. This is the case of a young woman without a strong credible support system. Yes, she has made mistakes. At her age..who has not? The jokes just are not that funny anymore. Relapsing so shortly after rehab is nothing more than a sad cry for help. And many in this country are laughing. Why? I suspect some are jaded...others may be jealous. I suppose when you're rich, young beautiful and talented you become a target. Parents should use Lohan as a teaching lesson for their adolescents. All the money, fame, and dieting means nothing if you have not worked on your soul. Nothing builds a strong foundation like faith, family, and real friends. I have compassion for young women like Lindsay. They have stumbled..they have lost their way. But they need our prayers, not laughter.

  • 7/30/07 Slow Down!!!

    Why do some people insist on driving so fast?. Don't they know they will only save at best a few seconds? Where are they going? Are they VIP's? Do they have some huge party to make. Or maybe they are top level officials who must make secret decisions. Maybe they are saving lives...perhaps a heart surgeon..or paramedic. Yeah right. Somehow, I think that they are just type A folks..who just can't slow down. They gesture, they blow their horns..they tailgate, and may even give you the middle finger salute. They've got places to go people to see...apparently a lot of living to do. You've seen these folks. They give you a dirty look for going the speed limit. Or race past you to let you know you are annoying them. These speed demons believe their plans are worth putting your life in jeopardy. They may be in the fast lane...but the truth is, these reckless, insensitive drivers are just loosers.

  • 7/31/07 "My Brush with Brewer Greatness!!"

    Today was a home run day for me. I was thrilled to have the chance to go to Miller Park and meet Brewers Star Bill Hall. We were shooting promos for the upcoming Susan Komen "Race for the Cure." It takes place September 23rd. The center fielder is more than just a talented player. Hall is good looking, articulate, and you know if he ever needs a career outside of baseball..he will do just fine. He's also a great role model for young men, particularly African American. In May of 2006, when the Brewers faced the Mets, Hall hit the tenth inning home run with a pink bat. The pink bats were to raise awareness of breast cancer. That home run won the game. The special bat was presented to Halls mom who was at the game for that crowd thrilling victory. Bill Hall was touched by the tremendous reaction he got from all over the country. He tells me he knew then, he had to get even more involved with the fight against breast cancer. It is only fitting that Hall is an honorary chairperson of this year's "Komen Race for the Cure." I am thrilled to be an honorary chairperson again this year. By joining the Komen team, Hall help score points in a different arena. We are lucky that Bill Hall is on our team. God Bless You for helping us save lives.

  • 8/02/07 "Farewell to a Colleague"

    A long time newsroom employee is saying goodbye. Clayborn Benson, an award winning photojournalist, is retiring after 39 years on the job. That, in itself is a remarkable accomplishment. Imagine the stories he's covered, the people he's met, the lives he's touched. But Clayborn Benson is celebrated not only for what he has given on the job, but for what he's accomplished in his spare time. Twenty years ago Benson founded the Wisconsin Black Historical Society at 26th and Center. It remains a strong beacon for the city. It's home to an amazing collection of African American history. It's a place where many in the community can find their roots. It's a museum where people of all ages come to grow and learn. The Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum has hosted hundreds of programs for people of all ages. The building brings families together for fun and wholesome activities. The first time I saw the what Clayborn had accomplished with the Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum, I was literally stunned!! I immediately knew it took long hours, and years of dedication it took to collect such incredible artifacts. Clayborn's devotion is born out of a community need. Benson is aware that understanding our past prepares us for the future. As Maya Angelou once wrote," Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise."

  • 8/06/07 "Thank God It's Monday"

    Have you ever wondered how tired you feel on a Monday? How Friday seems a long way off? It has me thinking. What would happen if every Monday we all just pretended it was Friday. And acted excited and happy and thrilled to be at work. A study in published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that many workers suffer a significant increase in blood pressure when they return to the office after the weekend. Also, research has shown a twenty percent hike attacks at the beginning of the week. Monday has long been the dark cloud of weekdays. When was the last time you heard anyone say "Thank God It's Monday?" Well, maybe we should! We could infuse ourselves with positive Monday messages. We could walk around with a lilt in our step. We could embrace life filled with joy, laughter and mirth on the first day of the week. Would we have more energy? Laugh more? Enjoy the moment? Maybe we would be so happy we would make our co- workers angry. That would be funny! I think one Monday I will just pretend it's Friday. The mind is very powerful when it comes to controlling your state of being. One Monday I will try to induce myself into a TGIF state of glee on Monday. I would have done it today. But I thought of this too late. My Monday bitterness has already come and gone...ha..ha.!!!

  • 8/07/07 "A Touch of Class Hank Aaron Style"

    OK..I am still at work tying up loose ends. Its almost 11 pm, and folks still here are glued to ESPN. Barry Bonds did it. He hit number 756. I know what you're thinking. I am too. But just watching the reaction of the crowd in San Francisco is what television does best!! We bring you the moment, the emotion, and the pictures in a way no medium can. But the most poignant moment of the night came from former Milwaukee Braves star Hank Aaron! His taped message gave me goose bumps. It was sheer class. Aaron's words.. "I move over now and offer my congratulations to Barry and his family." The home run legend was not there, but his message underscored something sorely lacking in this country today. Civility in the face of controversy. It would have been just as easy for Hank Aaron give a harsh lecture, voice strong opinions, or even take verbal shots at the man who broke Aaron's storied record after 33 years. Aaron could have even preached against the use of steroids in professional sports. He may have even reminded America about the racial taunts he experienced for breaking Babe Ruth's record. But tonight, no lectures from the legend. Hank Aaron's message proved that when a person has true character, class and dignity, there is no time out. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say, the big hero at AT&T park tonight was a man who was not even in the stands. And for many of us in Milwaukee Hammerin Hank" will always be our home run hero!

  • 8/13/07 "A Learning Lesson"

    I just got back from a convention in Las Vegas. Every year the National Association of Black Journalists draws thousands of professionals from all over the country. It also attracts aspiring journalists. What a thrill it was to meet this pool of young talent! This year I spent a lot of time at the Journal Communications booth. That is where we had machines set up to critique the tapes of young reporters and anchors. I saw some incredible talent. Young people today are much more sophisticated. Maybe it's the former teacher in me, but I found the experience truly rewarding. There were many moments where I know I connected. One young reporter hugged me and had tears in her eyes. She was filled with such gratitude for my advice. It's a special moment when the teacher enlightens the pupil. Being at NABJ reminded me of how much I missed that aesthetic experience. I started teaching private piano lessons when I was 16. I used to travel to homes southern Illinois giving kids piano lessons. I had a pretty good business that grew by word of mouth. I have no idea what made me believe I would be a good teacher. I just knew, and I was. I continued to teach in public schools, and even taught a broadcasting class on the college level. Often people ask me about my job. They want to know what it's like to be on television every day. Or how it feels to be an anchor. I tell them the truth. I am blessed to have a job I enjoy. But the most rewarding? No!! Nothing compares to those magic moments of lighting a spark that you know will last a lifetime.

  • 8/14/07 "Live for Today"

    Is it me? Summers seem like weekends, they go by far too fast!!! It's the middle of August and we're already bombarded with back to school ads. This week the temperatures are dipping back to the seventies. And of course we've been talking Packers. We do that all summer. Do you ever wonder why everyone is in such a hurry in this country? We find it hard to savor the moment, seize the season, or live for today. Well, I think I've figured it out. Just when we get mentally adjusted to one season, the hype starts for the next. I've seen a number of talk shows touting fall fashions. At least one person I know is busy planning trips to watch football games in September. And yesterday, a startling confession from a friend. She has finished...yes, finished her Christmas shopping!!! I had a sudden urge to trip her..ha..ha!! How can you enjoy summer, when your thinking about Santa? How can you savor fall, if your planning for a snowstorm? Why can't we just seize the moment? Why can't we enjoy life now! Don't look at me! I don't have the answer. I'm just hoping I can find time to soak up summer sun before the school buses start to roll!

  • 8/15/07 "Music Man"

    Have you ever met a person in their golden years who had more energy, stamina, and wonderment than most twenty somethings? Recently I did. He's a delightful man about to turn 80 years old. He lives on the south side. Gerry Glysz was kind enough to show me his collection of vintage accordions. He has more than one hundred. He was such a good time, that it was hard to call a trip to his house work. I along with photojournalist Andrew Triplett went to his home to tape a Positively Milwaukee story. (It will air this coming Monday August 20th.) We both left his home inspired. Gerry showed off his collection, told us a few racy jokes, and entertained us. He was a blast! He's been performing for more than seven decades. Gerry is a popular accordion player with gigs all over the area. Gerry, is also a Korean War veteran and a widower. Obviously he's seen some tough times. But his love of music, and his joy of entertaining makes him younger than most half his age. I am convinced that the secret to growing old gracefully is to nurture your passion. It may be art, music, dance, drama, or writing. Those who release their creative sides seem happier and live longer. Thanks Gerry, for inviting us to your home. It was music to our ears, and food for our soul.

  • 8/20/07 "Midwest Airlines" The Tradition Continues

    Well, it looks like we can enjoy our cookies after all. Midwest Airlines will not be taking off with another name. That means Milwaukee will keep it's hometown airline, and with it a lot of local pride. I remember when I first arrived in Milwaukee almost 17 years ago (I can't believe it's been that how time pun intended, ha..ha!!!). I remember being in the ladies room of a local restaurant. Three women welcomed me to Milwaukee and asked me if I had ever flown Midwest Express as it was called then. I had not. So they gave me in essence a live commercial. They were flight attendants for Midwest. They went on and on about how they gave the best service.They told me how everyone flew first class. I learned about the dinners served with table linens and real forks and knives. They also raved about the free champagne. I could not remember a time when I had seen so much employee enthusiasm about their company. I vowed my next trip would be Midwest Express. It was. I was hooked. The ladies were right. Midwest was addictive. Of course the new economy after September 11th made it necessary for Midwest to revamp their first class only flights. Now there are less expensive flights that seat more people. I usually take the Super Saver flights which are still wonderful. You may have to pay for your meals, but you still get warm chocolate chip cookies. A treat that most children don't even get to enjoy these days with both parents out earning a living I know I'm not alone when I say it's great the Midwest will stay Midwest. If the airline had taken off with a new name, we would have lost more than our hometown airline. We would have had to pack up some very important bragging rights. Enough to make you want to choke on your chocolate chip cookie.

  • 8/21/07 I Love Stormy Weather

    Some people are complaining about the weather this week. They say it is dreary and depressing. But, I am just the opposite. You may find me weird, but I see a beauty in cloudy and gray days. I find a strange peace when its raining, or snowing for that matter. If every day was sunny, we would lose our ability to appreciate them. A change of weather is good for the earth, and good for the soul. It reminds me that life is about transitions. And without cloudy days, it's hard to appreciate the sunny ones. Plus, we cannot expect nature to deliver blue skies and sunshine every day. That is not what life is about. To be fully human, we must experience, pain, disappointment, sadness along with love, acceptance,and joy. Understanding this helps us grow, and survive. Many people search for a place to live with the perfect weather. They want sun, surf and beach all the time. But the perfect weather to me is a place that shows me all natures symphonies. I do not want live where the weather is all the same. Nor do I want to live where people are alike. The most beautiful souls I have met, do not come with perfect bodies. Just like cloudy days, they have their own special beauty. The next time you feel down about a stormy day just remember, it takes rain to make a rainbow.

  • 8/27/07 Name that Anchor

    I introduce myself to anyone I first meet. It just seems like the right thing to do. I clearly say my first and last name. Many people have asked me why I do that. They believe that no introduction is necessary. Some jokingly say, everyone knows who you are. I chuckle to myself because I know better! I may do at least 15 live shows a week,( sometimes 20 even 25), but that is no guarantee that people know who I am. Nor should I expect them to. I am not the center of their lives. They are busy with family, work, children pets hobbies etc. I have been confused with so many people that it's downright funny. One woman recently thought I was her psychic. How funny is that? I think it would be arrogant to assume that everyone knows who I am. Plus, I remember years ago running into a male anchor at a competing station at a much smaller market. He believed everyone knew his name. Nice enough guy. Though I had not worked with him, I got the impression that he thought he mattered just a weeeeee too much..Ha..ha..!!! Anyhow, during our impromptu mall small talk, a lady stopped and screamed loudly at the male anchor. I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!! The newsman looked up, smiled and proudly said, of course you do. Her next words. YOU INSTALLED MY CARPET!!!! His face went red. Of course, I had to excuse myself quickly and wish him well. My sudden departure was necessary because I was beside myself with laughter. I was in hysterics. But I did not think it would be nice to laugh in front of this news-guy. After all, he had been in the market for many years! So, that is why I always introduce myself. I am well aware. Not everyone knows my name!

  • 8/31/07 "One Woman's Best Friend"

    Am I alone? Just what did Leona Helmsley's grandkids have to do to get less inheritance than her dog? I understand loving your pet. But to just to cut off your flesh and blood seems a tad bit extreme. Did they give her enough attention? Did they say things they regret? Maybe no thank you cards, no phone calls, no "I love you's." Did they not show their appreciation? Or was she just mean. Even the grandkids who got the 5 million dollars still fared a lot less than the pooch. That still has to bite. I'm sure they have a bone to pick with this entire situation. Puns intended..ha..ha.!!! But it seems like her Maltese named "Trouble" must not have caused too much. Because with his 12 million, he'll be lapping up luxury. And with that kind of cash, he can put his nose in all kinds of business. Heck, he may even have his own best friend, a two legged butler. Ha..ha..!!! But will he prefer the filet over the burger? Will he insist on gold plated doggie bowls? I know it's voyeuristic, but I still would love to know just what these grandkids did to end up in the dog house. Ha..ha..!!!

  • 9/06/07 "Sale of Dignity"

    I was out at the St. Vincent de Paul Store on 2320 West Lincoln tonight. We will be airing a positively on the thrift shop in a few weeks. One thing really struck me were the many bargains in the shop. All clothes, even those with new price tags are 1.99!! Even more impressive is the pride that the store manager takes in running the place. It's clean, tidy and neat. Store manager Carol Griffin did not want to go on camera. She warned me over the phone that she is camera shy. Even so, I could see, Griffin is the store's heart and soul. As I checked out the furniture, the clothes, the dishes, she beamed with pride about keeping the place up. Carol admits she could make more money elsewhere. But she loves helping the needy. She says the look on their faces is payment enough. She shares priceless moments like kids smiling after receiving toys, mothers thankful for winter coats, or families being able to afford a bed. The St. Vincent de Paul thrift store is selling much more than good deals. It's doling out dignity and respect to thousands who need it the most. If you have items to donate that are in good condition, call the St. Vincent de Paul Society's Thrift Store for free pick up. The number is 414-462-7863.

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