Thursday, April 19, 2018

Eye on Oshkosh - Better Business Bureau, taped 4-19-18

On this edition of Eye on Oshkosh, host Cheryl Hentz talks with Susan Bach, NE Wisconsin Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau about a variety of scams people can fall victim to and many ways in which they can protect themselves. If people are in doubt about something being a scam, or want to report something, call the BBB at 800-273-1002, or visit them at Certain things can also be reported to the State of Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection by calling 800-422-7128. Don't fall prey to those who would otherwise steal your hard-earned money and/or identity!
The show can be seen here:

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Stories of Your Neighbors: Free photo exhibit opens at the Paine on April 20

Fit Oshkosh, Inc., an organization dedicated to improving racial equality and building a welcoming and inclusive community, has announced a photo exhibit celebrating the lives of People of Color in the Fox Valley area. The exhibit, titled “Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative”, will be on display in the Carriage House at the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh from April 20 through 25.

“The goal of this project is to disrupt commonly-shared false ideas about why People of Color choose to live in Oshkosh,” according to Tracey Robertson, executive director of Fit Oshkosh. “Some of these are that People of Color come here exclusively from the ‘hoods’ of Milwaukee or Chicago, or that People of Color have moved to Oshkosh ‘because of the prison’, meaning that they have a loved one who is incarcerated or have a criminal background themselves. The last example is the most damaging and the most alarming, and prison data disproves that narrative.

The exhibit chronicles the experiences of 20 local Persons of Color with a portrait and story of each individual. Photojournalist Colleen Bies, herself a Person of Color and Oshkosh native, said “I wanted to capture the emotions and personalities of people in the moments between the smiles. I try to get them to talk about themselves, their hopes, what motivates them and why they are in Oshkosh as I am working.”
The individuals’ stories were compiled from interviews done by Roberta McGuire, chair of the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Alicia Johnson, director of the Women’s Center at UWO; Susan Resnig, associate professor women’s and gender studies and African American history and Robertson.

After leaving the Paine Art Center, the exhibit will travel to six additional locations in the area, including UWO, First Congregational Church, the Appleton Public Library, and others. For a detailed schedule of locations and times of related guided conversations, go to . The exhibit is free and open to the public at all locations with the exception of the Color-Brave fundraising dinner.
The event is sponsored by: Fit Oshkosh, Wisconsin Humanities Council, The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, The Paine Arts Center and Gardens, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, First Congregational Church, The Draw, Ebony Vision, Inc., Marion University, and Esther of the Fox Valley.

About Fit Oshkosh
Fit Oshkosh is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to promote social transformation through Color-Brave conversations, education, advocacy, and research in order to achieve race equity and justice. We believe in the importance of a multicultural community and strength in diversity. We value a community where People of Color fit in without having to conform to the dominant culture.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Oshkosh Central City and Sawdust District Parcels Recommended by Governor as Economic Opportunity Zones to U.S. Treasury

Census tracts identified as Economic Opportunity Zones would provide incentives to stimulate local economic development
Two tracts of land in the City of Oshkosh have been recommended as Economic Opportunity Zones (EOZ) by Governor Scott Walker as part of a U.S. Department of Treasury community development tax incentive program.
The EOZ Program provides incentives for long-term capital investment into distressed areas of identified communities. The zones present opportunities for private, tax-free investment into the designated areas of economic need that will benefit residents living in these zones. Investors will also benefit as they will receive reduced tax liability on their investments and other tax incentives.

In collaboration with the City of Oshkosh, the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation selected three tracts of land in the community that met EOZ program requirements, subsequently encouraging others to recommend them to Governor Walker.
Greater Oshkosh EDC looked at an area’s population, poverty level and unemployment rate from U.S. Census data to determine eligible tracts of land in Oshkosh. Governor Walker has included two of the three suggested Oshkosh tracts among his recommended Wisconsin tracts as potential opportunity zones for redevelopment.

The first tract is in the Central City, north of the Fox River and south of New York Avenue along both sides of N. Main Street in a jagged C-shape. According to U.S. Census data, it’s population of 6,238 has a 41.3 percent poverty rate and 7.1 percent unemployment rate.
The second recommended tract, the proposed Sawdust District, includes the area east of Minnesota Street to the shores of Lake Winnebago from 9th Avenue to Waukau Avenue. It has a population of 3,134, 20.4 percent poverty rate and 3.3 percent unemployment rate.

“We are extremely pleased that two tracts in the City of Oshkosh are under consideration for the Economic Opportunity Zones program. Being selected would provide us with another tool to encourage investments in areas identified as opportunity zones and accelerate development and redevelopment efforts in the city,” said Jason White, president and CEO of Greater Oshkosh EDC.
Assuming one or both tracts of land are selected for the EOZ program, Greater Oshkosh EDC would serve as the community liaison to ensure compliance and work with the City of Oshkosh, private investors, developers, and other organizations to coordinate development projects in the city’s designated opportunity zones.

Governor Walker submitted a total of 120 recommended parcels of land from more than 40 counties across Wisconsin to the U.S. Treasury for consideration. Treasury officials are expected to make their final selections within two months’ time based on the Governor’s recommendations.
Greater Oshkosh EDC was founded in 2015 and exists to preserve the health of existing companies, foster a positive entrepreneurial environment, connect companies to workforce and talent development resources, enhance the business climate and promote the quality of life in the greater Oshkosh area. For more information, visit: 

Upcoming events on racial literacy and mental illness discussed on Eye on Oshkosh

On the most recent episode of Eye on Oshkosh, host Cheryl Hentz spends the first segment chatting with photographer Colleen Bries and Paine Art Center & Gardens executive director Aaron Sherer about the upcoming traveling exhibit entitled "The Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative." You'll learn why this exhibit is so important and where you can see it, starting on April 20.

In the second segment, Cheryl is joined by Kimberly Osman, a board member for NAMI-Oshkosh. They discuss mental illness in general, how NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) can help folks who feel they are facing issues in their lives that they may need some professional help dealing with, and the various programs they offer for people who feel they need help themselves because of depression, anxiety, etc., or for folks who have had their lives impacted by someone who has committed suicide, or is dealing with mental health issues. Also, NAMI has a 5K Run/Walk coming up on Saturday, May 5 and Osman gave all the particulars about how to enter, as well as other informational booths being offered as part of the event to bring more awareness to mental health issues and how NAMI can help.

Catch the show here: