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News & Notes: Feb. 5

Feb. 5, 2014

Men's Club hosting community blood drive

Shorewood — The next Shorewood Men's Club Community Blood Drive is scheduled from from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Shorewood Village Center, 2010 E. Shorewood Blvd.

Anyone interested in donating may contact Jeff Hanewall at 687-7418 or shorewoodmensclub@wi.rr.com for an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome. The drive is conducted by the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

Plumbers not needed for downspout disconnection

Whitefish Bay — The Village Board on Monday amended an ordinance to allow residents to disconnect their downspouts from their sanitary sewer line without a master plumber.

Village staff have dye-tested about 230 homes in the village and found that 10 homes had downspouts illegally connected to their sewer lines, Assistant Village Engineer Aaron Jahncke said. The owners of those homes will soon receive a letter from the village telling them they need to disconnect their downspouts by April 18, after which they could be fined.

The disconnections require a plumbing permit from the village.

"Staff will tell them what to do, see that it's done right, and close out the permit, without the expense of hiring a master plumber," Village Attorney Chris Jaekels said.

District reviewing

facilities needs

Mequon — Mequon-Thiensville School District officials presented a comprehensive review of district athletic facilities to the School Board on Monday.

The presentation was the first in a three-part series of facilities reviews, with later presentations to come on fine arts facilities and another on overall facilities, Superintendent Demond Means said.

According to the report, the majority of athletic facilities were found to be below average or in poor condition and a significant number of facilities caused moderate or high safety concerns.

The athletic facilities report, as well as the fine arts and districtwide facilities report, will factor into the district's long-term capital planning process, Means said.

"We still have a lot of work to do when we look at fine arts and general facilities," Means said. "It's important for us to keep in mind that this is work we really need to hone in on."

Whitefish Bay imposing

bowhunting restrictions

Whitefish Bay — The Village Board on Monday approved ordinance changes that restrict bowhunting as much as possible in the village.

A recently passed state bill prevents municipalities from banning bowhunting. The only real restrictions, which the board approved, prohibit hunters from setting up within 100 yards of a building — assuming they already have permission to hunt on the owner's property — without permission and indirectly require that bowhunters use tree stands.

While the new law does allow bowhunting within Whitefish Bay, Village Attorney Chris Jaekels was skeptical that any hunters could find suitable areas anyway.

High school students headed to Carnegie Hall

The Homestead and Shorewood High School Chamber Orchestra will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Feb. 24.

After a competitive audition, the 66-member orchestra was selected to perform in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie. They will be accompanied by Milwaukee-area pianist Jeannie Yu as they perform works by Mendelssohn, Doyle and Bloch.

During their stay in New York, the students will also tour the Lincoln Center of the Arts, the archives at Carnegie, and the Museum of Modern Art; they will also tour the "Top of the Rock" at the Rockefeller Plaza and see "The Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway.

A special send off concert, free and open to the public, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, 1111 E. Brown Deer Road, Bayside.

Village to bid

Pigeon Creek bridge project

Thiensville — The Village Board, meeting as a Committee of the Whole on Monday, gave a positive recommendation on putting the Pigeon Creek footbridge project out to bid.

The Village Board will consider the matter at its upcoming Feb. 17 meeting.

The footbridge, which will span Pigeon Creek from the Main Street side to the Green Bay Road side, was previously approved by the board to be included in the 2014 capital budget.

Village honors longtime police lieutenant

Shorewood — After nearly 30 years of service, Lt. Paul Sullivan has officially retired from the Shorewood Police Department.

The Village Board on Monday honored Sullivan's dedication with a proclamation ceremony. Sullivan joined the department in August 1984 as a community service officer, and subsequently was promoted to police officer, sergeant and lieutenant, also holding a variety of special roles during his career, including emergency response team coordinator, drug recognition expert and motorcycle patrol unit supervisor, among others. He was the third highest ranking officer in the department, Police Chief David Banaszynski said.

As a result of Sullivan's retirement, the department promoted Christine Preston to lieutenant and Karl Simandl to sergeant. Both were sworn into their new roles on Monday, along with new police officer Cody Smith.

Six new courses

approved at Brown Deer schools

Brown Deer — The School Board on Tuesday approved six new courses for the coming fall semester.

They are: a yearlong construction skills course; a yearlong beginning piano course; a semester-long web design and advanced coding course; a semester-long "pathways for success" course meant to follow the existing "digital literacy" course and help students build a personal portfolio and brand; a yearlong advanced orchestra course; and a semester or yearlong senior project course, billed as a "cure for senioritis."

Health building

plans altered, approved

Thiensville — The Thiensville Plan Commission on Monday approved updated plans for the incoming Thiensville Health Alliance building.

Last year the village sold the former Riemer's Flowers, D&D Electronics and Sea N' Sand Scuba sites to Thiensville physician Gary Lewis. The new plans move the building from the north end of the combined site to the south end and include parking and color updates.

Village Administrator Dianne Robertson said Lewis will need to return with landscape and lighting plans.

Roberston said that before Lewis can break ground, the village has work to do on the Pigeon Creek retaining wall behind the properties, and due to Department of Natural Resources guidelines can't begin that work until after May 15.

Sherburn Place to be vacated for senior living development

Shorewood — Sherburn Place will eventually be vacated and replaced with a new street as part of the Harbor Retirement Associates senior living facility planned for the former site of Pig N' Whistle and Sherburn Place Apartments.

Following a public hearing on Monday, the Village Board approved a resolution discontinuing the road, which serves the parcels at 3907-09 N. Sherburn Place and 1111 E. Capitol Drive, where the 94-unit assisted living and memory-care facility will be built. The resolution specifies that a new public road will be constructed within the River District as part of the project, providing access to those parcels.

Village Attorney Raymond Pollen described the discontinuance of Sherburn Place, which was recommended by the Plan Commission in December, as a significant component of the site plan approved for the development. He explained that Sherburn Place will not be discontinued until the new road has been constructed.

The action follows the Village Board's approval last month of a development agreement with Harbor Retirement Associates. The developer will work in conjunction with the village to construct the new road, Pollen noted, as well as to create a certified survey map for the site and meet any other conditions that may be part of the construction project or development agreement.

Police Department focuses on increasing efficiency

Shorewood — Along with other village departments, the Shorewood Police Department is using lean processes to achieve more efficient operations.

In a presentation to the Village Board on Monday, Deputy Police Chief Kevin Carini explained how a team of police staff recently used lean methods — which focus on recognizing and decreasing waste or inefficiencies in a process — to improve how cases are being forwarded to the department's detective bureau.

Through the process, police staff created a revised template for case referrals, Carini said, which is only completed by the supervisor in charge, as opposed to multiple people. Staff were trained on how to use the form in December and the department has already found it to be effective in providing more accurate information and enabling staff to handle cases in a more timely manner, for example. The goal of the team is to ultimately have 100 percent of cases correctly referred to the bureau, Carini said. The bureau typically receives five to 10 cases per week, he said.

Staff from the clerk/treasurer's office also recently reported to the board on how they are using lean methods to improve customer service operations. Similar methods are being used throughout the village.

Software company

expanding in Mequon

Mequon — Field workforce automation software maker MSI Data is expanding its Mequon headquarters, according to a company news release.

This is MSI's second expansion in the last two months, and the company more than doubled its staff in 2013.

The expansion is a 45 percent increase in office space to about 9,000 square feet and will make room for several new departments.

Health Department

hosts screenings

The North Shore Health Department is hosting adult health risk screenings Feb. 19 at the Brown Deer location, 4800 W. Green Brook Drive, and Feb. 25 at the Shorewood location, 2010 E. Shorewood Blvd. The program includes a blood analysis for total cholesterol, blood pressure and weight check, plus a consultation with a registered nurse. The cost is $30.

Free blood pressure screenings will also be offered Feb. 25 at the North Shore Library, 6800 N. Port Washington Road in Glendale; and Feb. 26 in Shorewood.

Call (414) 371-2980 to schedule an appointment.

Fundraising under way

for 'Richards court'

Whitefish Bay — A volunteer fundraising committee is asking for donations to help rebuild the dilapidated "back yard" area at Richards Elementary School.

A two phase plan is set to begin in the spring. In the first phase, the existing tennis court area will be demolished replaced with the "Richards Athletic Court," composed of three tennis courts, three half-court basketball courts, several foursquare and hopscotch grids and backboards for kids to throw and kick balls against, according to a news release from the fundraising committee.

Phase two will focus on improvements to the existing playground equipment at Richards.

The committee encourages donations, which are tax-deductible. Checks should be made payable to The School District of Whitefish Bay with Richards Athletic Court in the memo line. Donations should be addressed to School District of Whitefish Bay Business Office, Attention: District Accountant — Penny Little, 1200 E. Fairmount Ave.

More information is available at "Richards Athletic Court" on Facebook or by contacting committee co-chairs Carol Fairborn at (414) 241-4086 and Leah Schneider at (414) 559-4397.

Neighborhood Loan Program seeks more duplex conversion funds

Shorewood —Funds in Shorewood's Neighborhood Loan Program budget will be reallocated to provide more assistance for duplex to single family conversion projects.

The Village Board approved reallocating $20,000 from the down payment assistance loan fund to the duplex conversion loan fund, as requested by the program, bringing the remaining duplex loan funds to $21,975 and leaving $8,000 in down payment assistance funds.

In addition to down payment assistance and duplex conversion loans, the Neighborhood Loan Program currently offers attic improvement loans, and previously offered exterior maintenance loans as well. Duplex and attic loans are offered at a maximum of $20,000 each, while down payment assistance loans do not exceed $4,000 each. Since the program was established in 2009, it has approved 28 loans in the total amount of more than $400,000.

Nicolet senior

wins art competition

Glendale — Nicolet High School senior Sarah Murphy won an honorable mention from the National YoungArts Foundation, according to a district news release.

With the win, Murphy takes home a $500 prize and the chance to win an award from the U.S. President Scholars in the Arts, the country's top award for young artists.

Murphy was among 687 winners chosen from about 11,000 applicants.

Students win big

in art contest

Mequon — In the 2014 Scholastic Art Awards, 23 Mequon-Thiensville students took home a combined total of 33 awards, according to a district news release. Their projects will be on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum from Feb. 1 to March 16.

Visual artists and art professionals chose 375 winners from a pool of more than 2,000 entries from students in the region. The following Mequon-Thiensville students won awards:

From Homestead: Amanda Albright, Jessanna Clark, Maximillian Henry, Victoria Hessling, Kayla Matocky, Collin Murray, Clare O'Malley, Nicole Pinzer, Adrian Rimmer, Dara Schuman, Sveta Tenges and Angellia Yang.

From Lake Shore Middle School: Silma Berrada, Anthony Kimm, Caitlin Geurts, Leah Neusen, Eliza Imbrie, Isabella Sciffidi and Clara Huskin.

From Steffen Middle School: Christopher Aceto, Sophie Ng, Avery Orosz and Erin Carley.

Village creates public art fund

Shorewood — Shorewood now has a special revenue fund in place to support the goals of its Public Art Program.

The Village Board approved a resolution establishing the fund, at the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee. Trustee Michael Maher explained that the fund is intended to support the Public Art Program and Committee, as established by the village in 2011.

The purpose of the committee, according to the description on the village's website, is to recommend policies and guidelines for the planning and implementation of a formal, phased program for selecting artist/design professionals and for designing and placing public art throughout the village.

In a separate motion, the board also approved a resolution transferring the net proceeds from the 2013 Plein Air painting event and exhibition, in the amount of about $13,477, to the Public Art Program fund for future use, as well as $2,500 in property tax support from Village Celebrations to the fund to support 2014 programming activities. The funds are to be spent only on public art activities authorized by the Village Board, Maher said. All donations and other revenue received from activities designated to support the Public Art Program will go to the fund.

Maher said the Public Art Committee is expected to report to the Village Board in February with a proposed budget for the fund.

Shorewood schedule

survey online

Shorewood — The school district recently launched an online survey to poll parents potential scheduling changes like later school start times and calendar changes.

The survey is part of a committee process that will culminate in presentations and possible recommendations to the School Board in the coming months.

District residents can take the survey online at: surveymonkey.com/s/shorewoodcalendarsurvey.

Water main improvements planned for Oakland, DPW yard

Shorewood —Shorewood will contract with Clark Dietz for design services for the reconstruction of problem water main segments in the 3700 block of Oakland Avenue and within the village's Public Works yard.

The Village Board approved entering into a design services agreement with Clark Dietz in the amount of $8,300, with the water main relays to be completed with upcoming 2014 street reconstruction and Basin 6 sewer projects.

The 2014 capital projects fund budget estimates improvement costs at $145,000 for Oakland Avenue and $125,000 for the DPW yard. Per staff recommendation, the engineering would be performed by Clark Dietz with the project bid as alternates to both the Murray Reconstruction Program and the Basin 6 Phase II Program, with the water main relays to be awarded with the project providing the most advantage to the village.

Kindergarten registration

upcoming

Mequon — The Mequon-Thiensville School District will hold 2014-15 school year kindergarten registration from 1-6 p.m. on March 19 and 20.

According to a district news release, children who will be five years old by Sep. 1 are eligible.

Parents should bring proof of residency, their child's immunization records, and their child's birth certificate. More information is available at (262) 238-8514 and the district website, mtsd.k12.wi.us.

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