Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
A Franklin neighborhood
To answer the above headlined question: Depends.
Jennifer and I were, if not the first, one of the first families to move into our then-brand new subdivision. Needless to say it has grown. The last empty lot just kiddy corner from us is now under construction. So the neighborhood has changed, but has it been for the better?
Geoff Williams of US News & World Report interviewed a number of sources who offered expertise on what makes a growing or dying neighborhood. Let’s explore the factors they’ve come up with. My neighborhood is about 10 years old. No way it’s dying, right?
A former real estate agent who works for a marketing firm that specializes in the mortgage industry says, “If your region is struggling to attract new companies or current companies aren't hiring or are laying off, the clock has started ticking.”
A good signal is if you’re “located inside a major beltway with a shortage of available land.”
An increased number of “FOR SALE” signs or vacancies is not a good sign. My street has had a number of these the past five years, too many in my view.
Schools that perform well are a plus. Some parents have told me they believe Franklin’s school district under-performs. But it’s still a good system.
Are kids out playing and riding bikes? If so, that’s a sign of growth. My subdivision has more children than ever.
Traffic lights replacing stop signs means increased traffic that also means growth. Add in repaved roads, new signs, sidewalk repairs, and bike paths and you’ve really got something according to another source in the article. My neighborhood strikes out on all of those.
If you can readily walk to cool destinations, chalk up another plus point. Nope, can’t do that, though it is much easier now to use my feet to get to Sendik’s. I do love this from a sentence in the article:
“If you can walk or bike on designated paths to reach places like a baseball stadium you may have a winner.” Don’t get me started.
Realizing that as one my colleagues once said, “Scorecards are for reporters and politicians,” my tally shows six factors point to my neighborhood as dying with only two indicating growth.
Am I ready to put up the FOR SALE sign? Not with the housing market the way it is today. Besides, despite our outrageous taxes, I really like living here. The neighborhood is predominantly friendly and very safe. People care about other people and their homes. Kyla has lots of new friends. And we’re relatively close to goods and services, if not as close as we’d like because Franklin, well, you know.
US News & World Report provides a caveat:
Of course, there are no absolutes. Bottom line: The goal isn't to someday look around and think, “there goes the neighborhood.” You want to think, “here it comes.”
So no FOR SALE sign. And no RIP stone either.
If there's any amount you can afford to give - no matter how small - to help a wounded military hero like retired Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris (shown on the right), please, please do so right now. Nearly every day we get a desperate phone call or e-mail from another severely disabled soldier, marine, sailor or airman seeking emergency financial aid.
That's exactly why the Coalition created the Thanksgiving "Thank You" Meals Project, which as you know sends $60 to our seriously injured troops and veterans to enable them to buy meals over Thanksgiving weekend.
Please make the most generous one-time, tax-deductible Thanksgiving donation you can afford.
Remember your gift of $60 can help provide meals over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend for ONE severely disabled military hero and their family, your donation of $120 can help feed TWO struggling military families this Thanksgiving, your contribution of $180 can provide Thanksgiving meals for THREE families, and so on.
I'm retired Army General John K. Singlaub. And I'm spearheading the Coalition's 2014 Thanksgiving "Thank You" Meals Project.
I'm proud of what we've achieved together so far. So I want to thank you for all you've done in the past and remind you that we can't feed a single disabled hero this Thanksgiving without the kindness of good friends like you.
As you know, the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes receives no government funds.
So the severely disabled troops and veterans we help are totally reliant on the generosity of you (and other Americans) who feel called to help them.
Maybe your gift will be sent to a wounded warrior like retired Army Sgt. Travis Harvey, whose leg was shattered by mortar fire in Iraq.
As I mentioned in another e-mail, desperate phone calls and e-mails are coming in from our troops severely disabled in the war on terror - and in many cases their spouses. And I don't want this to be the FIRST Thanksgiving we have to cross a wounded hero off our Thanksgiving list because we lacked the money to help them.
So please make a generous, tax-deductible donation of $60, $120, $180 or whatever you can afford right now.
Thanks again for all you've done to help our severely disabled troops and veterans in the past. I hope they can count on you this Thanksgiving.
Major General John K. Singlaub
U.S. Army (Ret.)
P.S. Please say "Thank You" to a severely disabled military hero this Thanksgiving by helping to provide his family with meals over the holiday weekend. Remember they willingly risked their lives and limbs to protect your family (and mine) from terrorism, and most say they'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Here's your chance to do something concrete for them and their families in return. As I mentioned, your gift of $60 can help provide a meal for a severely wounded serviceman or woman and their family on Thanksgiving. Your donation of $120 can help feed TWO families, $180 can help THREE families, and so on. And of course smaller gifts can be combined to feed a military family in need.
Thanks so much for supporting the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes!
Remember, if you make your tax-deductible Thanksgiving gift right now - today - we'll still have time to help before Thanksgiving weekend.