Mayoral candidate holds fundraiser

Jan. 30, 2012 10:52 p.m. | Mayoral candidate John Pokrandt will be holding a campaign fundraiser.

He's suggesting donations of $30 per individual and $50 per couple.

Families are welcome to attend the gathering from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Chancery, 7613 W. State St., in the Village. Food will be provided.

Pokrandt is running against Alderman Peter Donegan and Kathy Ehley, executive director of the Village Business Improvement District. A primary election will be held Feb. 21 to narrow the number of candidates to two.

Tosa looking for voting sites outside school buildings

Jan. 30, 2012 10:46 p.m. | Voters who have cast ballots at the Fisher Building will find themselves at a new polling place starting with the Feb. 21 primary election. The change may just be the start of a larger citywide effort to move voting activities out of Wauwatosa School District buildings.

Because polling places operate during the school day, there's ongoing concern about the students' safety on Election Day. In 2012, elections will be held on four days in 2012, possibly a fifth if a separate recall election is required for Gov. Scott Walker.

"On any other days of the year, the buildings aren't open to the public to wander in and out," City Clerk Carla Ledesma said. "It's a safety issue, and the superintendent (Phil Ertl) has asked me to work on alternative locations."

The move from the Fisher Building, which serves as the district's administration building, became a more immediate necessity largely due to dwindling space. An alternative high school and a Montessori school for younger children now occupy portions of the building.

Voters in the city's 20th Ward will now report to a conference room in the city's Public Works building, 11100 W. Walnut Road, to cast their ballot.

» Read Full Article

See's Candies opens in Mayfair

Jan. 30, 2012 10:40 p.m. | See's Candies, a San Francisco-based candy manufacturer, has opened a store at Mayfair.

The business is best known for its assorted boxed chocolates, but it offers more than 100 varieties of candy, including nuts, brittles and lollipops. The shop occupies a spot on the lower level of the mall, next to Five Guys Burger & Fries.

See's Candies will celebrate its grand opening Friday with samples to taste as well as historic delivery vehicles - the candy company got its start in 1921 - and See's drag-racing vehicles on display.

See's has operated kiosks in the Milwaukee region, but this is its first store in Wisconsin. Hoping to get a piece of the Valentine's Day market, the store will offer extended hours of 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 13 and 14.

Streamlined review boards to have first meetings

Jan. 30, 2012 10:34 p.m. | The city's Design Review Boards will meet for the first time Thursday since they were restructured from three to two groups by the Common Council.

City ordinance states that any project requiring a building permit must first receive approval from a design review board. In the past, residential projects went to one of two residential boards - each with seven seats plus two alternate positions - depending upon the aldermanic district where the project was located. There was one commercial board that had nine members and two alternates.

The city sometimes finds it difficult to get volunteers to serve on its nearly 30 boards, committees and commissions, and there have been some attendance issues with existing design review board members. Those factors led the city attorney to recommend condensing the design review boards late last year.

The new board structure calls for one residential board with eight members and one commercial board with seven members. If the meeting agendas get lengthy, either board can separate into two groups and split the workload.

The boards consider exterior architectural appeal, including site location and landscaping, and how a building's aesthetics fits with the surrounding neighborhood.

» Read Full Article

Donegan apologizes for campaign literature error

Jan. 30, 2012 10:26 p.m. | Mayoral candidate Peter Donegan handed out campaign literature that failed to identify his campaign committee as the funding source, a disclosure required by law.

Donegan, who also serves as an alderman on the Common Council, said he changed campaign material as soon as he became aware of the error. New brochures and letters have been printed and stickers including the statement were applied to the initial batch of campaign materials, he said. No campaign signs had been printed.

"I apologize for the error and want to assure everyone that it was clerical and not an indication of ignorance or disdain for the law," Donegan said.

He said he and his committee reviewed the material and proper language had initially been included on all campaign literature. However, during "multiple edits" an omission was made.

The law requires that every communication - print, television and radio ads, billboards, handbills, sample ballots, T-shirts, bumper stickers and yard signs, for example - include a disclaimer identifying the funding source, City Clerk Carla Ledesma said.

» Read Full Article

City panel opposes power lines over natural spaces

Jan. 27, 2012 11:52 a.m. | Wauwatosa is preparing for a fight over a plan that would place power lines in neighborhoods and green spaces.

The city made its first move Tuesday when the Community Development Committee voted 6-1 to support a resolution opposing two of the possible high-voltage power line routes: Route A (along Walnut Road from about 120th Street through the County Grounds) and Route B (along Underwood Creek Parkway from the County Grounds to 120th Street or potentially routing a portion of this line between 120th and 115th streets through a natural section of Underwood Creek).

The decision came after nearly three hours of discussion that included comments by many of the more than 100 people who turned out to protest the four route options chosen by American Transmission Co. The full Common Council will take up the resolution next week.

If approved, it will be used as a platform by a Madison attorney the city has retained to represent its interests through the regulatory process, City Attorney Alan Kesner said.

Written by Alderman Dennis McBride, the resolution also opposes any route that would place power lines "along or through parks and parkways, the Oak Leaf Trail, or high-quality wetlands and natural areas owned and managed by Milwaukee County or the city of Wauwatosa, or the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District." In addition, the document calls for burying any transmission lines along Underwood Creek Parkway.

» Read Full Article

Gee to head Forest Exploration Center

Jan. 26, 2012 11:50 a.m. | The Forest Exploration Center, a nonprofit organization that intends to provide forest education on land in Wauwatosa, has hired a full-time executive director.

John Gee, formerly executive director of Wisconsin Charter Schools Association, has held a variety of entrepreneurial and executive positions in the education and technology sectors, according to an announcement from the center board. His prior experiences include being CEO of the Information Technology Association of Wisconsin, founding a high-tech business incubator for NASA and developing Beaver Creek, Colo., a private city and ski resort.

The Forest Exploration Center will center on the 67 acres owned by the state Department of Natural Resources east of Interstate-45, bounded by Swan Boulevard and Underwood Parkway.

The next three years will be a time for development of community programming, and exploration center and possibility a charter school.

Sewer rates dip, but will increase in future

Jan. 24, 2012 11:28 p.m. | Sanitary sewer rates took a slight dip this year, but a hefty hike is on the horizon.

"Because of significant investments coming up, it might be the last time for some time we see a decrease," City Administrator James Archambo said.

The Common Council unanimously approved the 2012 sewer rates last week. The average homeowner will pay $307 this year, down 0.9 percent or about $3 from 2011.

Sanitary sewer rates are made up of per-gallon usage and connection charges from Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and a local water consumption charge.

The MMSD portion of the bill is where the decrease can be found. The per-gallon rate will increase by 0.2 percent while the connection charge will decrease between 3.3 and 5 percent per customer

» Read Full Article

Tosa police take reports of two armed robberies in three days

Jan. 24, 2012 12:29 p.m. | East Tosa saw two armed robberies within a matter of days.

According to Wauwatosa police reports:

A masked robber carrying a sawed-off shotgun held up RadioShack, 6407 W. North Ave., at 8:25 p.m. Jan. 19.

An employee was organizing merchandise when the man walked in. As she turned to greet him, she noticed he was wearing a mask and had a weapon sticking out from his sleeve.

"Come with me, you know what this is," the robber said.

» Read Full Article

Woman says she was robbed at gunpoint at Tosa bus stop

Jan. 23, 2012 4:22 p.m. | A 19-year-old woman said she was held up at gunpoint at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 while she sat at a bus stop on the southwest corner of North Avenue and 60th Street.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

As she waited for her bus, the woman said, a man approached the bench from the north side of North Avenue, sat down next to her and pointed a gun at her from his lap.

She said he told her to "give me everything you have."

The woman gave him a wallet containing $30 and an MP3 player valued at $200.

» Read Full Article

Future school class scheduling to be discussed Jan. 24 at Whitman

Jan. 23, 2012 1:02 p.m. | An update on the progress of the Wauwatosa School District's Class Scheduling Committee will be presented at a PTA meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdayin the library of Whitman Middle School, 11100 W. Center St.

Jeff Keranen, Whitman principal and committee chairman, will give the update.

"This will be a progress report," Keranen said. "There are a lot of options that the committee is exploring, so this will be a report and not a recommendation."

Keranen said the committee has ruled out the block scheduling - consisting of four, 90-minute classes - that has been adopted by the Elmbrook School District. He also noted that any new district class schedule will not go into effect before the fall of 2013.

Whitman PTA President Joan Ross said parents have been asking about the committee's progress.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa Meetings: Jan. 26-Feb. 2

Jan. 23, 2012 9:50 a.m. | Civic Celebration Commission: 7 p.m. Jan. 26, City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.

Common Council committees: 7 p.m. Jan. 31, City Hall

Committee for Citizens with Disabilities: 7 p.m. Feb. 1, City Hall

Historic Preservation Commission: 7 p.m. Feb. 1, City Hall

Neighbors fear what follows Blockbuster

Jan. 18, 2012 11:26 a.m. | East Tosa residents assumed it was a matter of time before Blockbuster closed up shop in their neighborhood.

But the speed of the movie-rental store's departure at 6102 W. North Ave. last month, and the reports that an auto-parts store might fill the space, have neighbors concerned.

Blockbuster has fallen on hard times, shuttering most of its stores in the Milwaukee area and across the country. Still, an employee assured Alderman Bobby Pantuso last spring that the local store would likely remain open for some time. Then in mid-December, business-closing signs went up and the building was quickly emptied.

"I was a little thrown off because it always seemed busy to me," Pantuso said. "We always thought there was going to be more time."

The site has been identified as a key redevelopment hotspot in the East Tosa master plan that was adopted by the city last summer. Pantuso said that while the plan sounded a bit "pie in the sky" - it calls for a neighborhood commons feel with two-story mixed residential/office and commercial use as well and even a splash pad for urban recreation/open space - it makes full use of the site.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa, police agree on 3-year contract

Jan. 18, 2012 10:42 a.m. | After 16 months of bargaining, the city and Wauwatosa police union have reached a three-year agreement.

The contract, ratified by the Common Council on Tuesday, provides 3 percent wage increases this year and next for the 75 members of the Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association. However, it also increases health insurance premium contributions and adds a pension contribution for the first time.

Net take-home pay will drop in 2012 and '13, union President Luke Vetter said, adding that health care deductibles, co-insurance payments and premiums went up.

"Given the economic and political climate, it is probably as good of a deal as we could expect," he said. "My hope is that when economic times get better in Wauwatosa, the council and mayor would be kind enough to share that good fortune with its employees."

Gross starting pay for an officer was $46,067.84 per year in 2010 and would go to $47,449.88 in 2012. The top step in the salary scale of $64,743.54 in 2010 goes to $66,685.85 in 2012 for base pay.

» Read Full Article

Voters to weigh smaller council

Jan. 18, 2012 10:30 a.m. | The April 3 election ballot just got a little longer in Wauwatosa.

Voters will be asked an advisory referendum question about their interest in reducing the size of the city's Common Council.

The results won't tie the council into taking any specific actions. However, voters will end a 20-year debate on whether the Wauwatosa's legislative body is too large and set the council on a path to changing that, said Alderman Dennis McBride, who proposed the referendum.

If the referendum passes that will just lead to tireless debate on council size, structure and representation on numerous committees, Alderman Michael Walsh said.

The council could better use the time that will be spending putting itself under a microscope to look at the proposed high-voltage power lines, development projects such at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Innovation Park and the Burleigh Triangle, fixing sewer backups and preparing for the next budget cycle, he said.

» Read Full Article

Meaux becomes mayor until April

Jan. 18, 2012 10:22 a.m. | He's no longer just acting the part. The title is now official for Mayor Eric Meaux - at least for the next 2 1/2 months.

The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously appointed Meaux to serve as Wauwatosa's mayor for the remainder of the term vacated by Jill Didier. The office of mayor will be on the April ballot.

With the title comes a salary, City Attorney Alan Kesner said. Meaux will get compensated based on the mayor's $22,500 salary. The council approved a raise to $30,000 but that doesn't go into effect until the start of the next mayor's term.

Meaux, as the Common Council president, became acting mayor Jan. 3. His fellow council members decided to make the title retroactive to that start date.

In the meantime, Meaux's seat representing District 2 on the council will remain vacant. The district has another council representative, Alderwoman Kathleen Causier, residents can call upon. The council president position will not be filled until after the April elections.

» Read Full Article

Archambo to get raises in 2012

Jan. 18, 2012 9:24 a.m. | City Administrator James Archambo will receive a raise this year and possibly a bonus come 2013 if he meets the goals the Wauwatosa Common Council sets for him.

After reading reviews submitted by the department directors that report to him and talking is closed session for nearly two hours, the council showed their appreciation with the city administrator's performance.

The nod of support comes in the form of a 1.5 percent wage increase this month, followed by another 1.5 percent raise in July. A one-time incentive payment of up to $3,500 will be made in 2013 if Archambo accomplishes certain goals. He currently earns $115,169.60.

The council's Employee Relations Committee will begin outlining those goals in coming weeks, said Alderman Peter Donegan, committee chairman.

Alderman Michael Walsh was the only council member to vote in opposition to the wage changes.

» Read Full Article

Take your job and shovel it

Jan. 17, 2012 10:20 p.m. | With two snowfalls covering Wauwatosa in the past week, city staff want to remind property owners about their winter weather duties.

Shoveling sidewalks: The full width of public sidewalks, crosswalks and curb ramps must be cleared of snow and ice by noon following the accumulation, said Mary Clare Schuller, Parks and Forestry Department secretary. If the work isn't done on time, city crews will remove the snow and charge the property owner. De-icing agents or sand can be sprinkled on slippery spots.

Preparing for refuse collection: Clear a spot at the curb or the bottom of the driveway for garbage and recycling carts, Mike Kreiter, public works superintendent, said. Don't place them on the sidewalk or the top of a snow drift. Pulling carts from snow drifts can cause worker injury, so repeat offenders won't have their bins emptied.

Clearing fire hydrants: When firefighters respond to a structure fire, they immediately look for the closest hydrant. If the hydrant is covered in snow so it can't be seen or easily accessed it means more time for the fire to grow. Property owners who live near a hydrant can help by taking a few minutes to dig out the fixtures.

Driving etiquette: Snowplow drivers are handling large equipment often in treacherous conditions. Give them some space and slow down, Kreiter said. Stay 500 feet behind plows and let them clear a safe driving route, he said.

» Read Full Article

Resale shop helps police make arrest in high-end shoplifting case

Jan. 17, 2012 1:42 p.m. | Staff at a Brookfield resale shop alerted police to an unusual amount of new, high-priced clothing coming into the store, suspecting the items had been stolen. The tip resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old Mequon man.

The district attorney's office will decide whether to charge the man with theft Tuesday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Plato's Closet employees were seeing a number of Free People brand women's clothing in new condition coming into the store.

Knowing that Macy's is one of few retailers who carry the line, security guards at the Mayfair store started keeping an even closer eye on that department within the Wauwatosa store.

» Read Full Article

Fox Point-Bayside extends administrator contract

Jan. 17, 2012 12:44 p.m. | The Fox Point-Bayside School Board extended the contract for the district's superintendent Monday night after fielding calls for her resignation.

School Board President Michael Weiss said in a statement Tuesday that the board voted, 4-0, to approve the extension of "all administrative contracts," including that of Superintendent Rachel Boechler.

At issue is a decision that Boechler made in the early 1990s when, as a guidance counselor for Wauwatosa East, she did not report the sexual relationship between a female student and a teacher at the school.

The Fox-Point-Bayside board was aware of the case when it hired Boechler. Details of that case became more widely known after a Journal Sentinel column by Daniel Bice was published this month.

"It is important to remember that the Wauwatosa School District handled this matter according to its own procedures 20 years ago, and we have been advised that Dr. Boechler did report the matter to her supervisor at the time," Weiss wrote. "With a much better understanding of the facts than we have today, the Wauwatosa School District chose to take no disciplinary action against Dr. Boechler. . . .

» Read Full Article

Manager injured in KFC drive-thru robbery

Jan. 17, 2012 11:28 a.m. | Two masked men attempted to rob KFC in East Tosa and injured a manager in the process last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The restaurant, 6706 W. North Ave., was closed but employees were preparing for customers at 9:12 a.m. Jan. 10, when a manager pulled up to drive-thru window to pick up a bank deposit.

As she approached, two young men or older teens with T-shirts wrapped around their faces walked up. One was armed with a shotgun and said "Don't move."

They hid against the building until an employee opened the drive-thru window. The armed robber made a grab for the bank bag while the manager drove off and called police.

» Read Full Article

Lancers beat Red Raiders to take over first place

Jan. 13, 2012 9:54 p.m. | Brookfield Central used a big second quarter to beat Wauwatosa East, 76-63, Friday night before a disappointing crowd at Tosa East.

The win game the Lancers a 6-0 Greater Metro Conference record and moved them a game ahead of the Red Raiders (5-1). Both teams are 10-2 overall.

Kyle Vnuk came off the bench to score six points in the first quarter and spark East to a 17-9 lead after 12 minutes. But the Lancers went on a 28-11 run in the second period behind 12 points by sophomore Riley LaChance and took a 37-28 lead into intermission.

LaChance had 14 points at half and Seth Mortag had 10, while East's Diamonte Mckinley, Vnuk and Bryce Kratzer each had seven.

With Central leading, 47-36, the Red Raiders started an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 47-44 with 1:54 left in the third period.

» Read Full Article

County parks offering winter rec this weekend

Jan. 12, 2012 9:08 p.m. | The sledding hill and warming clubhouse at Whitnall Park, 6751 S. 92nd St., will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Cross-county ski trails at Whitnall and Brown Deer parks will open with trail grooming beginning Friday. Cross-country ski rental at Whitnall Park is $25 per day and $30 for 24 hours.

Door County Sled Dogs will provide authentic dog sled rides at the Whitnall Park Clubhouse from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, snowfall permitting. Rides are made up of a team of four to six adult Siberian huskies and cost $10 per child and $15 per adult. Sled dog rides must have 5 inches of snow or more to operate.

For information call the Door County Sled Dog hotline for up-to-date information and snow conditions at (414) 967-9677.

Ice skating with skate rentals ($8 for adults, $7 for ages 17 and younger) will be open on the downtown outdoor rink at Red Arrow Park, 920 N. Water St., from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.

» Read Full Article

Custom-design cake shop to open in East Tosa

Jan. 11, 2012 11:04 a.m. | Life in East Tosa is about to get a little sweeter.

Signature Sweets bakery is expected to open in late February in the storefront formerly occupied by Col. Pops Popcorn Co., 7227 W. North Ave.

Customers will find cakes ranging from the traditional vanilla and chocolate to fancier vanilla bean with vanilla buttercreme frosting or banana with chocolate mousse filling. The designs - they've made cakes shaped like a parrot, a purse and a pile of polo shirts, for example - are something like what would be found on television shows like "Ace of Cakes" or "Cake Boss."

The business is owned by Kimberly Hall of Milwaukee and Nicole Bitter of Muskego, former schoolmates who reconnected through Facebook.

"We both have this obsession with cakes and desserts," Hall said. "Over the last three years, we have been throwing around ideas and the possibility of actually getting out there and starting our own business."

» Read Full Article

Trimming council likely not up to voters

Jan. 11, 2012 10:44 a.m. | City voters might have an opportunity to give their opinion about the size of the Wauwatosa Common Council, but the April 3 vote mostly likely wouldn't be binding.

Alderman Dennis McBride last week put forth a proposal for a referendum that would seek to cut the size of the council in half - from 16 to 8 representatives. However, reluctance by some members of the Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee to make any results binding led McBride to take a different approach Tuesday.

"The real purpose of this referendum would be to take the temperature of the voters and find out what they think," he said, adding that an advisory referendum could accomplish that.

If an advisory referendum shows there is a significant interest in the community in cutting the number of council members, then discussions could begin on how to restructure the city's legislative body, he said.

The committee was much more supportive of this idea, forwarding a unanimous recommendation to the full Common Council.

» Read Full Article

Tosa to stay silent about County Board size

Jan. 11, 2012 10:16 a.m. | Whether to reduce the size of the Milwaukee County Board may be a worthy question, but it's not one municipalities should be asking, Wauwatosa officials decided Tuesday, opting not to hold an advisory referendum on the matter.

Wauwatosa has a unique relationship with the county, as it is home to numerous county parks, the research park and the mental health complex. In addition, the city is contracted to provide fire service to the County Grounds. Reducing local representation - or at a minimum possibly alienating the people they must work with at the county level - may not be in the city's best interest, several aldermen said Tuesday.

"I support reduction in size of the County Board but not in this mechanism," Alderman Dennis McBride said. "We are a municipality, we should deal with municipal issues."

The city's Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee shared McBride's sentiment and unanimously decided against a local referendum asking about cutting the size of the County Board in half.

McBride likened the proposed referendum to other questions that have been floated and subsequently rejected in past years. Wauwatosa has no place saying whether it supported the war in Iraq, a federal issue; or requiring voters to show an ID at the poll, a state issue, McBride said.

» Read Full Article

Jo Jo's Pizza & Pub to close; new pub to replace it

Jan. 11, 2012 10:02 a.m. | Jo Jo's Pizza & Pub will close and a new restaurant, tentatively named Blue Ribbon Pub, will open in its place.

Mark Zierath, owner of Molly Cool's Seafood Tavern in downtown Milwaukee, requested a transfer of Jo Jo's tavern license so he can serve drinks, as well as pizza, sandwiches, salads and a Friday fish fry, at the new business.

The city's Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee on Tuesday unanimously supported the license transfer. It must go to the full Common Council for final approval next week.

The owner of Jo Jo's is getting out of the restaurant business due to health issues, and Zierath has entered into a lease agreement for the building, 11302 W. Blue Mound Road. He plans to open in mid-March and handle the day-to-day management of the establishment.

The menu will offer more variety and lunch will be served - right now Jo Jo's opens at 3 p.m. - in hope of driving more traffic to the location.

» Read Full Article

Father arrested for whipping daughter with electrical cord

Jan. 11, 2012 9:43 a.m. | A 32-year-old Wauwatosa father was arrested for child abuse last week after his daughter showed a teacher the welts that formed after a beating with an electrical cord.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The Longfellow Middle School student was visibly upset Jan. 3, so her teacher asked her what was wrong. The girl showed the teacher bruises on her arms, legs, back and neck that came from a whipping.

School staff called the Bureau of Child Welfare and police officers talked to the family.

The girl's mother had discovered the girl had exchanged more than 100 sexually explicit text messages with several boys she had met on Facebook.

» Read Full Article

Teen says he was beaten during robbery attempt

Jan. 11, 2012 8:52 a.m. | A Tosa teen was beat up during an attempting robbery last week, but the attackers left empty-handed.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A 17-year-old boy was walking across the football field at Longfellow Middle School, 7600 W. North Ave., at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 4, when two males approached him from behind.

One said, "Hey man, we want your stuff." But the boy said he had nothing of value on him. To that, the second person said, "Man, you don't want this to get serious."

The boy said he felt threatened so he punched the first guy in the face, but the second one tackled him to the ground and started punching him. The other attacker joined in, punching and kicking the boy.

» Read Full Article

Red Raiders whip Trojans in Battle of Tosa

Jan. 07, 2012 10:10 p.m. | The experienced Wauwatosa East Red Raiders rolled over a young Tosa West team, 61-39, Friday night before an overflow crowd at Tosa East.

Diamonte McKinley led East wioth 15 points and Marquise Carter added 12 as both teams cleared their benches before the night was over. Sophomore Blake Harvey led West with 13 points.

After a 17-7 first quarter, West cut the lead to 30-22 at halftime. But East came out and went on a 24-10 run in the third period for a 54-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.

It was the first meeting of the Carroll brothers - junior Anthony of East and freshman Andre of West.

Anthony finished with five points in the fourth quarter and Andre had six points for the game.

Christmas tree pickup continues through Jan. 20

Jan. 06, 2012 3:10 p.m. | Haven't had time to take down the holiday decorations yet? Don't worry, the city will continue to collect Christmas trees through Jan. 20, Public Works Director Bill Porter said.

Two complete passes will be made throughout the city, with pickups made on garbage collection days.

Trees must be clear of wrappings, decorations, wire, metal, nails and tree stands. They will be chipped into mulch.

Residents looking to get rid of artificial trees or wreaths can dispose of them in the garbage.

McKinley's Walking School Bus wins grant dollars

Jan. 06, 2012 3:08 p.m. | McKinley Elementary School received a $1,000 grant to expand its Walking School Bus program by reaching out to local community members, businesses and three nearby universities.

The National Center for Safe Routes to School awards money to projects that encourage students and their families to walk and/or bicycle safely to school. A walking school bus is made up of students who gather at a specific stop each morning to walk together to school, chaperoned by adults, with the philosophy that there is more safety and better visibility in numbers.

McKinley will use posters, newspaper advertisements and digital marketing strategies to connect with college students who are interested in leading the walking school bus. Training sessions and background checks will be required of all volunteers. As more volunteer chaperons become trained, additional walking routes will be added.

In addition, McKinley staff will develop a "Wauwatosa Walking School Bus Handbook," which will be available to other elementary schools in the district.

A group of parents, school staff members and Alderman Jeff Roznowski formed a safe routes group at McKinley who have been coming up with low-cost ways to improve the safety of children on the way to and from school and on the streets around the property.

Kids from Wisconsin taking applications

Jan. 06, 2012 3:04 p.m. | Think of it as "American Idol" or "America's Got Talent" for Wisconsin youth. The Kids from Wisconsin - a troupe of singers, dancers and musicians that travel the state each summer - is holding auditions for this year's 33 Kids.

Applications are available at, and are due Jan. 20 to be eligible for auditions Feb. 24 through Feb. 26. Participants must be between 15 and 20.

Each June, a stage performance created by a professional artistic staff is taught during an intense 17-day camp. During the following 10 weeks, the troupe performs 70 shows throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest, including daily appearances at the Wisconsin State Fair.

For information, call (414) 266-7067.

Hansen, Currie golf courses open

Jan. 06, 2012 2:58 p.m. | Milwaukee County Parks Department has opened seven golf courses, including the facilities at Currie Park, 3535 N. Mayfair Road, and Hansen Park, 9800 Underwood Creek Parkway, in Wauwatosa, for play today.

Temperatures and conditions remain on par to play golf, parks staff said. Courses will remain open into next week, as weather permits.

Other courses around the county open today are Grant Park in South Milwaukee, Greenfield Park in West Allis, Lincoln Park in Milwaukee and Oakwood Park and Whitnall Park (the front nine holes) in Franklin.

For reservations at the Tosa greens, call Currie at (414) 453-7030 or Hansen at (414) 453-4454.

Tosa implements fee for burglary alarms

Jan. 05, 2012 8:35 p.m. | The owner of property, business or residential, equipped with a security alarm must register that alarm with the Police Department and pay a $20 fee within the next 30 days.

(Editor's note: The deadline has been extended to Feb. 13. Read more here.)

The Common Council narrowly approved the alarm registration ordinance on a 9-7 vote Tuesday. The council was split on whether alarms cause enough extra work for police to warrant a fee or if it was unfair to charge property owners who already are paying more to enhance security.

Police Chief Barry Weber estimated his department responds to about 1,000 burglar alarms per year, and while each is taken seriously with at least two squads responding, all but two or three of those turn out to be false alarms.

The likelihood that police will be called to respond to an alarmed property is much higher than for other properties, and unlike a 911 response - in which information is gleaned from a live person - officers responding to an alarm generally don't know what's awaiting them on scene.

» Read Full Article

Property owners have until Feb. 13 to register security alarms

Jan. 05, 2012 8:32 p.m. | Owners of Wauwatosa properties equipped with security alarms will have until Feb. 13 to register with the Police Department and pay a $20 annual fee.

Since it is a new process, the deadline has been extended a bit, Sgt. Salvatore Alioto said today. Property owners who have failed to comply by Feb. 13 will be subject to a $50 late fee.

The Police Department has received numerous calls from alarm owners but it is not quite ready to start accepting registrations.

A registration form will be posted on the city's web site,, and be available for pick up at the Police Department, 1700 N. 116th St., within the next few days, Alioto said.

The Common Council on Tuesday voted to require that all alarms within the city be registered. Property owners would pay a service fee because those properties are more likely to require police response than those without security systems.

Kautzer earns nominations to two U.S. service academies

Jan. 04, 2012 12:42 p.m. | Wauwatosa resident Austin Kautzer has been nominated for an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

He was one of three Milwaukee County residents U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Menomonee Falls, nominated for service academies, it was announced today. Kautzer was chosen as a finalist after a rigorous application process and personal interview.

Kautzer, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the son of Gary and Jane Kautzer.

Alexander Lane, a Shorewood resident who attends Marquette University High School; and Katherine Mesrobian, a Whitefish Bay resident who is attending school at Phillips Academy in Anodover, Mass., also have been nominated.

Applications are now being accepted for summer 2013 service academy appointments. For information, call Sensenbrenner's Brookfield office at (262) 784-1111.

Couple kicked out of hotel when break-up gets noisy

Jan. 04, 2012 11:31 a.m. | A couple in the midst of a break-up shouted and threw luggage into the hall at Extended Stay America, 11121 W. North Ave., last week, causing staff there to call police to eject the couple.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The 18-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for drug possession, and his 20-year-old girlfriend, a Milwaukee woman, was arrested for vandalism at 8:41 p.m. Dec. 27.

The man answered the door crying and stated that he and his girlfriend were breaking up over an argument about stolen money.

Upon entering the room, officers found broken lamps, trash covering the floor, a mattress flipped off the bed, a broken kitchen cabinet and the screen removed from a window.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa to consider reducing size of city council

Jan. 04, 2012 11:20 a.m. | How many people does it take to represent Wauwatosa? That's a question that could be posed to the city's voters in a referendum come April.

Alderman Dennis McBride has proposed a binding referendum that would ask Tosans whether the number of Common Council seats should be cut in half.

Right now, 16 people - two aldermen per district - represent the city. A referendum question would give voters the ability to drop that number to eight.

The issue of council size has come before the council itself at least four or five times in the last 20 years, and it never really gets resolved, McBride said.

"We keep coming to this spot that it gets defeated narrowly," he said. "No one is exactly happy, so it comes back."

» Read Full Article

Chamber announces award winners

Jan. 04, 2012 10:10 a.m. | Three local organizations have won Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce awards for their contributions to the community in 2011.

The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County has been named the Regional Impact winner.

The Small Business award goes to Radisson Hotel Milwaukee-West.

The chamber thanks the Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool for the aquatic facility that opened last summer with the Civic Appreciation Award.

Both businesses will be honored at the chamber's annual meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Radisson, 2303 N. Mayfair Road. An after-party is set for the new Jimmy's Island Grill & Iguana Bar adjacent to the hotel.

» Read Full Article

Tosa attorney challenges Walsh for seat on Common Council

Jan. 04, 2012 10:08 a.m. | Incumbent Michael Walsh has a challenger for the 5th District aldermanic position in attorney Joel Tilleson.

Tilleson, 30, has lived in Wauwatosa since 2007. He was a first-time homebuyer who plans to make Tosa his home for the long run.

"I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the council as it tackles the redevelopment of North Avenue and the Village area," he said. "I want to make sure we do what we can to attract unique businesses that will invest in the community and encourage other first-time homebuyers to move to the East Tosa area and join in the revitalization."

He sees safety and crime, traffic problems on Wauwatosa Avenue and flooding problems in East Tosa as priority issues. He also said his neighborhood - west of Wauwatosa Avenue and south of Center Street - is "overlooked by the current representation."

He works as an attorney for the Falk Metz firm and has a law degree from the University of Minnesota. This is his first run for public office. Tilleson considers himself "a fiscal conservative who advocates responsible money management."

» Read Full Article

Car gets hit, careens into home; one person injured

Jan. 04, 2012 10:02 a.m. | A car slammed into a home at Mayfair Road and Auer Avenue after it was hit by another car on Christmas Eve. The chain-reaction collision sent an 86-year-old woman to Froedtert Hospital with neck and back pain.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The incident occurred at 1:51 p.m. Dec. 24, after a 19-year-old woman pulled out of the Kmart driveway, 3201 N. Mayfair Road, and quickly accelerated across Mayfair Road and through the median break at Auer Avenue, where her car collided with another. She had been talking on her cell phone.

The driver of the second car, an 83-year-old man, lost control of his vehicle and crossed the lanes of traffic, stopping when he struck the house. His passenger was taken to Froedtert.

The teen was cited for driving without a valid license, failing to yield when entering a highway and driving without insurance.

Three vie for District 1 aldermanic seat

Jan. 03, 2012 7:38 p.m. | There will be a primary in the race for 1st District alderman. Three candidates have come forward, meeting today's filing deadline, City Clerk Carla Ledesma said.

Incumbent Linda Nikcevich is not seeking re-election, and all three candidates are new to municipal government.

James Moldenhauer withdrew from the mayoral election and decided to seek the aldermanic seat instead. He will be challenged by technical college professor Jeffrey Kroll and resident Robert Smith, who couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The most-read stories of 2011

Jan. 03, 2012 12:54 p.m. | Some of the most interesting news often happens in the suburbs and the just-completed year was no exception.

The most-read NOW online story of 2011 was an item on a 70-year-old St. Francis man who found a missile buried in the wall of his bathroom. How did it get there? We don't know for sure, but a former owner of the house was a World War II veteran known to collect war souvenirs.

We invite you to take a look back at some of the other most popular stories from 2011:

Woman uses 5-year-old son as shield against Taser

Family of lost child at Mayfair fights with police officers

» Read Full Article
Older Archives: October 2016 | September 2016 | August 2016 | July 2016 | June 2016 | May 2016 | April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 | January 2016 | December 2015 | November 2015 | October 2015 | September 2015 | August 2015 | July 2015 | June 2015 | May 2015 | April 2015 | March 2015 | February 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | September 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | January 2008 |

Community Watch

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where our Wauwatosa reporter explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.