Salvation Army beats its Red Kettle fundraising goal

Feb. 03, 2012 12:20 p.m. | The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County collected $2.9 million during its 2011 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign, surpassing its goal by $200,000. The fundraiser ended Jan. 31.

Contributions will help the organization, which has headquarters in Wauwatosa, assist the county's unemployed, underemployed, homeless and others in need with emergency shelter, food and clothing.

In Milwaukee County, the Salvation Army operates 85 programs including disaster relief, utility and rent assistance, employment services and summer lunch programs for children.

Crosswalk at Glenview and Wisconsin to be quite noticeable

Feb. 01, 2012 11:02 a.m. | Residents living near Glenview Avenue have vehemently opposed widening the road, saying they are concerned that doing so will make the already busy intersection at Wisconsin Avenue more dangerous.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation brought plans for crosswalk and signal changes that should provide extra protection for pedestrians to the city's Traffic and Safety Committee on Tuesday.

A 20-foot-wide colored concrete crosswalk will be installed with a striped eight-foot crosswalk in the middle.

"It's really going to stand out in this area," said Tim Anheuser, consultant with Forward 45, which is working with the DOT on the Zoo Interchange reconstruction project.

Changes to the intersection are expected to happen in 2013; the DOT anticipates more traffic on local roads due to freeway construction.

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Sending a message: Businesses ask for sign code change

Feb. 01, 2012 10:58 a.m. | Surrounded by the city of Milwaukee on three sides, Bluemound Automotive competes with national franchises that attract customers with inflatable mascots and flashy signage.

Jim Dietrich, president of the business at 60th Street and Bluemound Road, would like to step up his promotions by changing the message on his electronic sign more frequently than once per day.

"I'd like to be on a level playing field with the competition," he said.

Dietrich got support from Alderman Dennis McBride, who on Tuesday asked the Community Development Committee to consider allowing businesses with electronic signs to change them as frequently as every hour for a trial period of 90 days.

"If we're going to allow electronic signs, we ought to allow them to be useful," McBride said.

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City, district look to improve traffic safety near schools

Feb. 01, 2012 10:42 a.m. | The city and Wauwatosa School District likely will partner on a project aimed at enhancing safety for pedestrians and motorists along streets near four public schools.

The Traffic and Safety Committee on Tuesday unanimously supported spending $26,700 - half of which would be covered by the school district - to hire consultants to investigate "short- and long-term structural solutions" in two heavy traffic zones. The first is along Center Street, the route to Wauwatosa West High School, Whitman Middle School and Eisenhower Elementary School. The second area is on 100th Street in front of Madison Elementary School.

The full Common Council must approve the contract before the study can start.

Meetings with school and police officials, on-site observations and traffic counts would be conducted. A final report with recommendations for changes is anticipated before the city starts putting together its budget for 2013, Bill Porter, city public works director, said.

Schools Superintendent Phil Ertl contacted the city in late fall to voice concerns for motorists and schoolchildren during drop-off and pick-up times. School and city officials have determined that simple solutions such as adding crossing guards or installing stop signs likely won't work in these situations, Porter said.

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Video of Bowlero vehicle break-ins leads to arrest

Feb. 01, 2012 8:58 a.m. | A 32-year-old Wauwatosa man has been arrested for a string of car break-ins that happened at a local bowling alley between October and January.

In most cases, car windows were smashed out at AMF Bowlero, 11737 W. Burleigh Road, and items such as purses and wallets were taken. The cash and credit cards were then used at gas stations and stores until the owners got wise and canceled the cards.

"We have a pretty state-of-the-art camera system in place so we were able to ID the vehicle to police," said Roy Brent, bowling center manager.

The video led police to a minivan owned by the Tosa man, and officers started conducting surveillance.

"We believed there was a pretty good chance we'd witness him committing a crime within a short period of time," Sgt. David Moldenhauer said. "It was just a different crime than we expected."

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Man arrested for taking out gun during family's move

Jan. 31, 2012 4:24 p.m. | A 58-year-old man was arrested for recklessly endangering safety while armed after his son's friend accused him of pointing a gun at him as he helped move the family into their Wauwatosa home Jan. 26.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man's family, which includes his wife and six children ages 3 to 16, were moving into a home in the 12200 block of West Dearbourn Avenue at 2:50 p.m. Jan. 26. The oldest son and his friend, an 18-year-old Spencer man, had made several trips between the old and new home and were doing much of the heavy lifting. Feeling frustrated, the friend referred to the wife using profane language and one of the younger children overheard.

The child told her father, and he confronted the friend. The father said the friend threatened his wife and refused to leave the home, so he got his gun from a safe, but at no time pointed it at the Spencer man.

Not so, according to the son's friend. He said the father grabbed the gun from the safe and pointed it at him, ordering him out of the home.

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Wauwatosa in spotlight thanks to McGivern's new TV show

Jan. 31, 2012 10:46 a.m. | Don't expect a red carpet full of Hollywood stars wearing haute couture. The screening of the Wauwatosa episode of John McGivern's new television show "Around the Corner" will feature local celebrities including Cranky Al, former Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce director Meg McKenna and restauranteur Joe Bartolotta.

Attendees of the chamber's annual meeting last week viewed a 3 1/2 -minute trailer for the show, which will air at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. But Wauwatosa residents can sneak an early peak of the full episode thanks to a free premiere showing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Rosebud Cinema, 6823 W. North Ave. McGivern will answer questions after the screening.

Each episode of the Milwaukee Public Television show features McGivern visiting a Milwaukee-area neighborhood and checking out what "working, living and playing is like in each of these communities," McGivern said. Each episode will have an introduction by historian John Gurda.

McGivern and producer/director Lois Maurer spent four September days filming in Wauwatosa, but they decided to return in October once the Wauwatosa Curling Club took to the ice at Hart Park.

Wauwatosa was one of 13 neighborhoods chosen for the show's first season, which started airing last week.

Teens tracked, arrested after jeans theft at Macy's

Jan. 31, 2012 10:05 a.m. | Three people conducted a grab-and-go theft, taking clothing valued at more than $800 from Macy's at Mayfair last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Two of the suspects -- a 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man, both of Milwaukee -- were arrested after the getaway vehicle was tracked to a Milwaukee home. Police are looking for the third suspect.

Security guards noticed the three hovering around a table of jeans. The 18-year-old took a stack of jeans and walked away.

For some time, the other two people stayed in the area, one using his cellphone. They left the store for a bit, then returned to the table.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.