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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

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  • Sad Olympics Revelation

    Like most of the millions of viewers, I was dazzled and amazed at the great show China put on for the opening ceremonies at the Olympics. Now, like many I am dazzled and amazed for an entirely new reason. I learned today about the lip synching involving two talented beautiful children. The adorable little 9-year-old girl whose picture you see on the right sang Ode to the Motherland during the opening ceremonies. But it was really not her singing. It was really the voice of the 7 year old adorable child you see on the right. But for some lame Chinese officials, the 7-year-old singer was apparently not cute enough. The music director says, "The national interest requires that the girl should have good looks and a good grasp of the song and look good on screen." Some say the child on the right had crooked teeth and a head too round. Can you believe it?! (Talk about setting up a child of a life of poor self esteem.) Wow! I don't know about you by I find this absolutely offensive. What child is not beautiful! And by whose standards? Cuteness is subjective. It's easy to see why we have so many insecure, self loathing women and men walking around. What a shallow message to send to the world. Despite your talent, if you do not look flawless, stay off the stage. Some of the most talented people in history have not been the most stunning in the looks department. Yet they have shaped lives, left legacies, changed destinies. Would Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Judy Garland, not be perfect enough today? Let's face it, many people call Hollywood superficial and shallow. But I honestly do not believe such a kid swap would happen in Tinsel Town. Children are God's greatest creation. They all have an innocence and sparkle that defies conventional cuteness. Their natural wonderment and curiosity are blessings to behold. To rate a child not cute enough is like saying the sky is not blue enough, the sun is not bright enough, the grass is not green enough. These are the marvels of nature. Thank God, nature cannot create anything as transparent as man can apparently be. Those who cannot see the unique beauty in all children (or adults for that matter), are people I do not care to know.

  • Positive Lessons from the Olympics

    Perhaps the most positive story of the season is the Summer Olympics. Watching the athletes from all over the world compete on the world's stage, gives us insight into competition, sportsmanship, and most important humanity. The Beijing games are on pace to be the most watched Olympics ever. The Beijing Olympics are a real hit for NBC, but they're also a hit for all of us. The nightly competitions are a pleasant distraction from everyday life. While I appreciate the medal count, and the success the U.S. has enjoyed, I am most interested in the stories behind the medals. Hearing Michael Phelps admit he was teased and picked on as a child sends a powerful message to children in similar situations. Knowing he was raised by a single mom and overcame ADHD proves you can rise above adversity. For me these games are about those tales. The obstacles overcome..the lessons learned. By witnessing those who have achieved more than believed, and persevered through setbacks, we see real life. And by knowing the life scripts behind the victories makes them all more memorable. Because behind these super athletes we can often see ourselves..and and are reminded that through dedication and hard work, the impossible can become the possible.

  • Susan G. Komen, Join the Fight

    Every year I look forward to the Susan G. Komen Milwaukee Race for the Cure. It takes place Sunday September 28. I am proud to be an honorary chair for this year's 10th anniversary event. The goal for this year's race is $1 million. We need everyone's help to continue to make the Milwaukee race a great success. Every year I am touched by the staff, the volunteers, and the incredible stories of hope. Breast cancer has impacted so many families in our area. People in southeastern Wisconsin have been a tremendous support. The race has something for everyone, from the serious runners looking to be timed...to friends and families wanting a long stroll. September 28 is sure to be a great day. You can register right here on our Web site. Here's a list of the days events. I hope to see you there!! Susan G. Komen Milwaukee Race for the Cure® 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Race Day Registration (individuals only) 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Survivor Tent Opens at Pink in the Park Sponsor Expo 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. FREE Shuttles from Veterans to Henry W. Maier Festival Park 8:30 a.m. Stretch/Warm-up at Start Line 8:55 a.m. 5K Wheelchair Race 9:00 a.m. 5K USATF Timed Run 9:15 a.m. 5K USATF Run (not timed) 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pink in the Park Sponsor Expo 9:25 a.m. 5K Walk 9:45 a.m. 1 Mile Walk 10:30 a.m. Sponsor, Team and Volunteer Recognition, Thank You and Awards 11:00 a.m. Survivor Celebration and Awards Ceremony

  • Christmas in September?

    It's not even officially fall, but we are already seeing holiday commercials. Is it me, or is it just a weeee bit early. Don't get me wrong. I love the holiday season as much as anyone. It's just that I keep hearing these Christmas jingles and wondering did I miss a season? I do know how important the holiday season is to the bottom line of many businesses. But forcing us to think about buying presents before Halloween just seems wrong. When I was a music teacher, I remember rehearsing holiday songs for months before the actual season. So by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I had major holiday song burnout. Now I at least do not have to worry about that. But lately I've seen more and more ads talking about holiday shopping. That's incredible to me. Halloween candy is just arriving on store shelves. And who has even thought about their Thanksgiving Turkey yet. But I think this early holiday spotlight says a lot about our society. We cannot learn to enjoy the moment, savor the season, or rejoice in the day, before we need to start planning ahead for the next phase. Sometimes it just seems exhausting. It would be nice to slow down the pace, and take life as it comes. Why can't we savor the end of summer before worrying about holiday shopping lists? I guess we can ignore it, but every time I hear a Christmas jingle, I feel a mild sense of panic. But I'm sure that that will be replaced by spirit as soon as December hits.

  • Positive Side of DUI Arrest

    Wisconsin has had so many embarrassing cases of repeat drunk drivers that hopefully the latest calls for stiffer penalties will be heard. But one drunk driver pulled over in Sheboygan County really stands out. Fifty-two year old David Hyland was pulled over for weaving and suspicion of drunk driving in the Town of Plymouth. But when officers pulled him over, he thanked them. The criminal complaint quotes Hyland as saying, "Thank you very much for everything you've done for me." Hyland also told officers, "I shouldn't have been driving and deserve to get caught." He's right. This was Hyland's fifth OWI. On the positive side, at least he showed some common sense. Now let's hope he has finally learned a lesson.

  • Go Brewers!!!

    Isn't it wonderful to see a positive story that everyone can feel good about? Thanks to the Brewers making it into the post season, many people are feeling optimistic these days. Let’s face it, often the news coming has not been great the past few months. From the financial crisis, to job layoffs, to plant closings, to crime there has not been a lot to applaud. But for the next few days we can all feel the collective excitement of hope. Hope that the Brewers make it through the next round, hope that destiny awaits, and hope that the Brewers can once again go as far as the team in 1982. Everyone who was old enough remembers what they were doing the last time the Brewers went to the World Series. Many parents and grandparents are dusting off those memories and sharing them with progeny. It's great to hear and see the stories. From a man we saw on the news carrying 1982 World Series Tickets, to the mother looking for Brewers gear for her toddler..it’s fun to have a positive diversion. The Brewers have given Milwaukee a gift. A chance for families to make new memories, to cheer on the hometown team, to feel proud. The Brewers ascension could not have come at a better time. After all, after Aaron Rodgers injury who knows what's in store for the Packers. As for the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s anyone's guess how new leadership will fare. But thanks to the Brew Crew, we do have one certainty. A new reason to smile, to connect, to dream. It's a great way to start the fall season.

  • Meekins Musings

    Ok, maybe it's me. But I must get something off my chest. It's really getting on my nerves. What is it with all of the abbreviated words these days? Why must everything be reduced by a few syllables. Case in point. When cooking queen Rachel Ray says the words E.V.O.O for extra virgin olive oil, I just cringe. How hard is it to say extra virgin olive oil? Isn't that what it's called? Will three more syllables put you back too far? And just why do you need to save that fraction of a second? Rachel Ray is also famous for saying "delish"...for delicious. What is wrong with "cious?" How long does it take to get "cious" out? Not that long. NOOOOO!!!! Having said that, I find Rachel Ray adorable and her personality sparkling. I just do not like it when people abbreviate for no reason. The other day I was watching a television show, when a mother said, lets talk about our vacay..instead of vacation. HELP!!!!! I instantly wanted to throw something at the TV. How hard is it to say "tion?" Here we saved a grand total of one syllable. Someone will have to explain the logic behind these condensed words. I have also heard, I have a taste for a "Za." I think that came from a movie. It's short for pizza...but to me long on irritation. How tough is it to get the piz out? I say NO!!! One syllable!!! How lazy can we get? Ok, these are not big problems. But they point to a bigger issue. If we are too impatient, too strapped for time to even get our syllables out, how will we ever find time to discuss world peace. Unless of course we could find people willing to have a deep "convo" (conversation) about war. As for me, no shortened words. In fact, sometimes my producers write "Tosa" for Wauwatosa. Sorry, but I do not say it. The city's name is Wauwatosa, and it's just not that hard to say "Wauwa." It's only two syllables. Plus, Wauwatosa with its four long syllables is the correct name.

  • No Horseplay Please!!!!

    We did a story on the 10 pm news tonight about a fundraiser for breast cancer. That's obviously a wonderful cause. But the event was a water balloon contest. Where people lined up and threw water balloons at each other. I said on the air at the time, no way would I participate. I have no interest in hitting anyone with a water balloon and less in getting hit. Just tell me where to write the check. Mike Jacobs disagreed. He thought it looked like fun. But I have never been one for water balloon fights, food fights or any horseplay. Even when I was young, I found such activities silly and sophomoric. I wonder, is it a female thing? Many women tell me their sons live for horseplay. They're always wrestling, and fighting, and getting physical. I grew up in a home where I was the oldest of four girls. We loved our Barbies, dollhouses, games..but little horseplay. I remember when I was in junior high. A guy I had a crush on asked me to go out. I was to meet him at the school carnival. Those days families went. I pointed out to my mother the guy I liked. And she never let me forget that I made a strange connection. This particular dude spent the entire carnival with a water gun shooting everyone in sight. Ha..ha....!!!! It still cracks me up!! My mother saw him and laughed all night. I do not believe we ever exchanged two words. I was too shy to even utter a phrase. We used to ride the same church bus, but I was too frightened to even speak. But somehow, seeing his delight in annoying classmates all night with his water gun, taught me that young crushes can be fleeting. Especially if the guy is big on horseplay.

  • Meekins Musings

    Sometimes it's easy to believe the worst of mankind. And, that you cannot trust anyone, especially strangers. But this week I had an experience that gave me a great feeling of hope. I had gone to Taco Bell on Port Washington in Glendale. I gave a young African American man what I thought was a twenty dollar bill. Well, I did not realize I had given him two twenty dollar bills that were stuck together. But I was lucky. This was a very honest employee. He immediately said, you gave me two twenty dollar bills. I thought how refreshing. His first instinct was to be honest. Before I drove off, I asked the young man his name. He said Tyrone. I thanked him for his honesty. I called the restaurant and was told the young man's name is Tyrone Robinson. So I just want to use this blog as an opportunity to say thanks Tyrone. Sometimes in the news we point out people who have broken the law. But for those who commit an act of kindness, publicity is often absent. There are no cameras, no reports, and no spotlight. Too bad really, because most people are decent. But the Tyrone's of the world often go unnoticed until they stumble and or they fall. How sad.

  • Thank a Teacher

    Do you ever think back on your past, and remember a teacher that really made a mark? Several have in my life. But one in particular was a woman many students feared when I lived in San Antonio Texas. Mrs. Janert was famous for giving homework that included heaven forbid, term papers. We were responsible for writing at least 10 pages if I can remember. That seemed almost impossible when you were in junior high. It always seemed as Mrs. Janert took great glee in assigning an essays or term papers. She was serious. We had to use footnotes, references, proper style, and of course, grammar, punctuation, and spelling had to be correct. Mrs. Janert was tough, and fierce in our eyes. We wondered why she made us work so hard. We lamented, labored, and feared writing these term papers. Many were shocked that we had so much homework. After all, we were not even in high school! It meant hours in the library, pouring over big reference books and encyclopedias. (Long before GOOGLE was a word..smiles) Many times I have thought back about Mrs. Janert and her strict English class. I have thought about her determination to force us to comprehend the importance of writing term papers. And to understand that we can learn from such assignments. She was strict when it came to writing clearly, concisely, and using transitional phrases. But many times when I was in high school and college, her devotion came back to me. It was a gift. It came in handy when so many times when I was assigned term papers and essays. I even found that I enjoyed working on them. Research was an excellent way to learn a subject. I'll never forget one professor told me my term paper was the best he had ever seen. I was so proud. I was beaming. But as I smiled and said thank you, I could not help but remember the tiny blonde lady with pink lipstick and immovable hair, whose writing class left a permanent mark on my life. Mrs. Janert often said in class that we would thank her when we got older. Well she was right! I have been thanking her for many years for giving me a wonderful start. Great teachers are like angels on earth. They are charged with one of life's most noble professions. They are unsung heroes, quiet leaders, the true torchbearers. They carry on God's work. Not for fame, fortune, or money. But for the greater good. God Bless teachers.

  • Ordinary People Also Make Good Stories

    Ok. You may think I'm crazy. But I am convinced I have a solution to at least one of our societal ills. More family TV shows about regular people. I think many young people today fantasize about living in luxury and being rich. They see some of the popular series or reality shows, and feel they're entitled to live like them. That is often the case, even if they have no talent or work ethic. That is sad!!!! I'm convinced much of today's entertainment sends young people the wrong message. They see characters who often do not have to worry about money and live lavishly. When I go to schools, I find many young people who want to know how much money I have, what kind of car I drive...etc. Many are upfront in telling me that their only goal is to be rich. It's as if a modest life is not worth living. If only we had more family shows like the "The Bill Cosby Show," "Father Knows Best," "I Love Lucy," or "Leave it to Beaver." I would love to see more entertainment that gives our youth strong moral messages and a clear direction of right or wrong. What about a modern version of "The Andy Griffith Show?" Yes, I realize many of these early shows, had a severe lack of diversity. But that could be easily solved in today's world. But many older shows feature ordinary people living regular lives. They are seen being happy and having fun, and often learning a life lesson about doing the right thing. How wonderful it would be to see a television show of a middle class family living a decent normal life. That's one of the charms of the Roseanne TV show of the eighties and nineties.. The Brady Bunch of the 70s. (Pre Maureen Mack biography). They displayed that you can have a modest life, a home filled with love, and a lot of humor. We put too much emphasis on things in this country. It's an epidemic, and it's hurting us and our teens. They are learning to never be satisfied with what they have, only want what they don't. What a way to set up a generation for misery. Most Americans are middle class folks with good values, trying to do what's right by their families and society. They are not rich, spoiled, or pampered, and they work very hard. Some of the most memorable people I have interviewed have little means. But they are rich. They understand the joy of volunteering and giving to their communities. They have big hearts, and are happy. And most important, they know what matters, family, friends, and relationships. They are the true beautiful people. I'm not saying that every entertainment show has to be "Little House on the Prairie." I just wish Hollywood would give us a better glimpse of everyday people. That would let our youth know they can be just as exciting, relevant, and loving and beautiful as the young sports figures and pop stars. Maybe then, more people would realize that for life's greatest joys, you don't need a credit card.

  • The Joy of Winter

    I know..a lot of you do not like it. But I have to say when I woke up and saw snow, I was happy. I think few things are more beautiful than a light dusting of snow in the winter. Everything looks so fresh, so pristine. I looked out the window of my home this morning and there were four baby deer. They looked so peaceful against Mother Nature's bleached canvas. I only wished I had the time to take a few pictures. But I had to get to work. I have lived in places where there were no seasons. I am not fond of that. Seeing Santa sweat in 80 degree heat when we lived in San Antonio Texas just seemed wrong. Even when I was a child, I longed for a Christmas with snow. I know I am in the minority. But I find snow invigorating. It gives me energy, and a peace I cannot describe. It's as though Mother Nature freezes her beauty, and shares it with us. Now in a few months, if we get another 100 inches of snow like last year, I may not be so positive. After all, I have only gotten out my ice scraper a few times this year. My winter glee could easily melt by the end of January. I'll let you know.

  • A Grafton Family Portrait

    Check out this beautiful family from Grafton. This is a picture of Alan and Dalyn Derzon with their kids. We took this behind the TMJ4 set. The children come from a variety of backgrounds. The Derzon's recently adopted their 11th child. Dalyn tells me homework at home is in cycles. Bigger kids help the little ones. She believes it's all about organization. Dalyn tells me it's very important that the family sit down to dinner together. The Derzon's are such a positive force, they cheered up everyone in the newsroom. So if you think you have a lot on your plate, just remember this loving couple. They've opened their hearts to children from around the world.

  • I Love This Picture!!!

    Just thought I would share a cute picture sent into me by one of my favorite couples. Gerald and Eunice Koepke Founded the Third World Handcraft Shoppe which donates money to Third World Charities. It's pretty hard to look at this and not smile. Here's what the e mail says: "A fawn followed this beagle home -- right through the doggie door -- in the Bittinger, MD area. The owner came home to find the visitor had made himself right at home. This Hit the 6 o'clock news big time."

  • Cold Weather Thoughts

    Ok, by now, we've pretty much had a storm a week and we are not officially into winter. By now, many people's fascination with winter is freezing up faster the ice on our windshields. Yes, it's been a rough few weeks for those who loathe winter. By now, you probably know I am in the minority. I love winter. Many people ask me, "Why are you so cheerful about snow?" Well, the truth is I have no patience for people who whine about snow. If you a live in Wisconsin, you will see snow, so get used to it. Plus, (I know some people will be cussing me out for this next statement) have you ever heard of anyone in California complain about the sun? (I heard that groan.) Rarely. Why is that one of nature's gifts so revered and another one is so despised? To me, it's all about attitude. I am an equal opportunity weather lover. Just like people, every season has something to celebrate. So when people complain about the weather, I always just smile. After all, it's good tracking snow for Santa and his reindeer. (LOL)

  • Good News for the Holidays

    It's the season to remember those who are making a difference in our community and in the lives of others. I hope you will join me Christmas Day for a "Positively Milwaukee Special." We will spotlight some of the people and programs that work year round to make the Milwaukee area a great place to live.The special will air at 5:00 pm Christmas Day. I know you will be touched. May you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

  • Barack Obama's Speech

  • "The Gift of LIfe?"

    If someone gave you their kidney, wouldn't you be eternally grateful? Well apparently not one woman. A doctor in New York donated his kidney to his wife. He claims she had an affair he gave her the organ. Now he wants his gift of life back. Dr. Richard Batista says "We were in a million dollar home, I was a full-time surgeon, full-time father and a dedicated husband. And I saved her life, and there's nothing bad about what I did, I'd do it again. But the pain is unbearable." Doctor Batista says he's willing to settle for 1.5 Million dollars. This story begs so many questions. What went wrong? How could she! How could he! Has anyone else broken up with a spouse who gave them an organ? How could the gift of life cause so much strife? This story makes you realize how strange the world can be. Let's just hope the surgeon is not serious about wanting his kidney back.

  • Thank You Mike Jacobs

    Let's face it one of the most annoying chores of the winter is cleaning the snow and ice off your car. This year we have had plenty of reasons to be annoyed. Last night I was lamenting going out to the parking lot. I truly was not in the mood to remove the pile of snow and ice after a long day. Well, to my surprise my car had already been clean. I was thrilled. But I immediately had a clue about the mystery Good Samaritan. And, my suspicions were confirmed when I got into work today. I asked my co-anchor Mike Jacobs if he had cleaned off my car. His answer was yes. How sweet! Especially since Mike has had very little free time lately. He's been very busy tending to his wife who is recovering from a broken leg. But Mike Jacobs is that kind of guy. He's been known to shovel around bus stops and fire hydrants on Prospect Avenue before coming to work. And through his random acts of kindness, Mike Jacobs improves the lives of others in a quiet way. I know his spirit and talent makes my job much easier. And it's great working with a man who truly enjoys his job and making others smile. What a blessing. Thanks Mike. You're a real gem.

  • My Inaugural Wish

    That we will use this new direction as a chance to build bridges not walls. That we not forget freedom is not free. That we realize, we're a nation of different colors, religions or backgrounds, but we are all Americans. That we reach out to the weak and the poor. That we see the beauty in ordinary people.. That we remember born American is a great gift. With that comes great responsibility. My prayer is that we improve our planet. And teach out children to dream the impossible.

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