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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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