UPDATE: School District, teachers union reach interim agreement

April 29, 2011 5:28 p.m. | The Wauwatosa School District and the union representing the district's teachers have reached an interim agreement that will save more than $4 million in wages and benefits for 2011-12, the district announced today.

The agreement is not an extension of the teachers union's current contract, which runs through June, but rather an interim deal meant to address the shortfalls created by taxing authority cuts proposed in the 2011-13 biennial state budget.

District officials have said Wauwatosa could face a roughly $7 million budget deficit next year.

"We need to prepare a budget, and this is a way that we're able to do that while maintaining the best education possible (for students)," Superintendent Phil Ertl said.

Under the agreement, Wauwatosa's teachers agreed to contribute half their retirement benefit costs, estimated to save the district $1.945 million. Salaries will be frozen for the 2011-12 school year, saving another $1.37 million, and insurance coverage will change to a high-deductible health-care plan, which the district says will save $1 million.

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CDC sets discussion on details of Burleigh Triangle proposal

April 29, 2011 11:32 a.m. | Alderman Bobby Pantuso and his son have made about 70 trips to Lowe's as the family takes on home improvement projects in recent months. Each time they drive along Burleigh Street and the scenery caused his 5-year-old boy to speak his mind.

"He said something to the effect of 'it looks like there was a war here,'" he said

The alderman's son is referring, of course, to the Burleigh Triangle, 70 acres bounded by Highway 45/Burleigh Street/railroad tracks and Currie Park. For at least eight years it has been the most talked about site for redevelopment, being called everything from the armpit or eyesore of Wauwatosa to a wasteland next to the freeway.

That could all change, but likely not quickly, with a proposal by Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate that the city's Community Development Committee considered Tuesday.

High-end retail along freeway

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Darker Tosa streets save money, but generate complaints

April 27, 2011 11:47 a.m. | Wauwatosa's experiment in turning on streetlights in some neighborhoods for fewer hours has generated complaints from 82 residents in the last eight months, but the money-saving maneuver is deemed necessary - at least in some form - to keep the city within budget.

A discussion of the controversial measure resulted in no action from the Traffic and Safety Committee on Tuesday, but options for moving forward were floated. The issue likely will be back before the panel in two weeks.

The city could expand the program to more neighborhoods, and it could turn the lights on 15 minutes after sunset and 15 minutes before sunrise, rather than a full half hour. The financial savings would be less, but increasing the number of areas participating could balance that out, city staff members said.

Installing LED lights could reduce energy consumption by 30 to 60 percent, but there is a significant upfront charge for retrofitting equipment - payback would take more than 50 years to realize, Porter said.

He suggested that by dovetailing lighting upgrades with street reconstruction projects, the city could pay the "upcharge" of installing a more efficient streetlight vs. the traditional fixtures more practically.

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Glenview, Highway 100 plans scaled back

April 27, 2011 11:12 a.m. | Responding to vehement complaints from Tosans, state officials have created two new plans that would allow Glenview Avenue to absorb additional traffic during Zoo Interchange reconstruction without requiring the road to be widened.

Numerous residents had expressed concern that Glenview - also known as 84th Street - would become a shortcut to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and that neighborhood children would be endangered.

"We heard many comments that this was too much for the Glenview roadway," said Bill Mohr, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Major Projects Manager, adding that homeowners don't want to lose 5 to 8 feet of property to make room for more lanes.

Options laid out

The first option, which Project Director Bob Gutierrez called as good a solution as the four-lane design, is to create a lane running from Bluemound Road to Wisconsin Avenue that traffic in both directions could use to make turns. The road would stay in its existing footprint, but the Bluemound/Glenview intersection would require reconstruction and pedestrian-friendly enhancements such as crosswalks and countdown timers.

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Scammer targets Mayfair retailers

April 27, 2011 9:23 a.m. | A scam artist has been targeting retailers at Mayfair, and an employee at one business fell for his con.

According to Wauwatosa police reports:

Mall security alerted tenants April 19 that a man describing himself as Mark Stein was trying to dupe businesses out of money. At 7 p.m. the previous day he had called Trade Secret, a beauty supply shop, and asked for the manager by name.

The manager wasn't available, so the caller told the employee who answered that he was from the corporate office and was calling about a customer who had lost her wallet at the store. He said a wallet was turned in the prior week with $1,200 but the money was missing when the owner came to claim it. He went on to say surveillance footage showed an employee taking the money, and it needed to be replaced to avoid being sued by the rightful owner.

The man instructed her to gather all the money in the store, get in a taxi and meet a man described as the owner's fiancé at a McDonald's in Milwaukee. Because of the ongoing internal investigation, she was to tell no one of her activities.

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Teens beat, rob man in Wauwatosa because he criticized their behavior

April 27, 2011 7:34 a.m. | A 52-year-old man was beaten by five females - who then stole his cell phone and car - in the parking lot of Bluemound Gardens restaurant Saturday evening.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man had just finished dining with his 84-year-old mother and 14-year-old son and they were walking through the lot, 11703 W. Bluemound Road, when they heard a group of girls making a scene at 7:07 p.m. As he pulled out of the parking space, one of the girls asked him what he was staring at. He told them they should shut up and stop swearing.

The 17-year-old Milwaukee girl didn't take the comment well. She swore and spit on his car.

At this point, the driver got out of his car and demanded she clean up the spit. Instead, she started swinging at him. To keep her from hitting him, he grabbed the girl's arm by her sweater.

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Share your thoughts about trail County Grounds trails at forum

April 26, 2011 6:26 p.m. | The County Grounds have proved a popular place to walk, bike and enjoy nature. To ensure those uses continue as portions of the land are developed, a master trail plan will be created to identify key connection points between different properties.

The public is invited to participate in a trail-planning workshop from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Wil-o-Way Recreation Center, 10602 Underwood Parkway. Short presentations will be made at 5 and 6 p.m., and representatives from Wauwatosa and Milwaukee County will be on hand to gather opinions.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee granted planning services to the city to assist with the project. The resulting plan will be used to guide individual property owners in creating more detailed trail plans within their sites.

The project aims to improve public access to amenities on the parklands while allowing the sharing of resources to maintain trails and joint pursuit of funding opportunities.

Video of naked neighbor results in arrest for lewd behavior in Wauwatosa

April 26, 2011 12:08 p.m. | A 63-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for lewd behavior after he was recorded repeatedly fondling himself while looking out his window last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A female neighbor was paying bills about 3 p.m. April 19 when she looked out her window and noticed her neighbor in the 2600 block of North 66th Street standing in front of his window naked.

She thought it was a fluke and that he didn't realize he could be seen, but he started touching himself. He returned to the window twice more and continued masturbating.

After consulting her daughter to make sure her eyes weren't deceiving her, the woman called her Block Watch captain for advice. He brought a video camera to the woman's home. The neighbor returned to the window for a fourth time and was recorded for 12 minutes.

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Woman comes home to find drunk stranger in her bed, police say

April 26, 2011 11:58 a.m. | Like the tale "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," a Wauwatosa resident was forced to ask "who is that sleeping in my bed?" last week. But unlike the sweet children's story of a lost little blond girl, this story appears to feature a drunken man who broke into a home.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

When the resident entered her home in the 7300 block of West Garfield Avenue at 7:45 p.m. April 19, she smelled marijuana. Then she noticed socks, shoes and a coat on the floor.

Getting scared, she checked out her bedroom, where she found a man fast asleep in her bed. She ran to a neighbor's house for help. They called police, but while waiting for officers, the neighbor woke up the intoxicated visitor and told him to leave.

He asked the neighbor if he could use the bathroom before he left. He was turned down so he urinated on the lawn before walking down the street.

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City money not needed for Tosa pool project

April 26, 2011 8:09 a.m. | No city money is needed for the new Tosa pool, so the president of the Friends of Hoyt and Pool has asked that any consideration for funding be removed from tonight’s Budget and Finance Committee agenda.

Friends President Denise Lindberg said several aldermen had requested an update on the nonprofit group’s fundraising progress and ideas of how the city can contribute.

“Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool is fully funded by private donations for all necessary design and construction costs and for all equipment needed for opening the new Tosa Pool facility,” she wrote in a letter to Wauwatosa City Administrator James Archambo today. “In addition, per the terms of our 55-year lease with Milwaukee County, we have funds set aside to fully fund a $1 million operations endowment to cover any future unexpected operational costs not covered by normal revenues. Therefore, we do not need to receive any funds from the city of Wauwatosa, but certainly appreciate the alders’ interest regarding such support.”

The group already had raised $7.8 million of the initially anticipated $8 million price tag to construct a new pool and significantly renovate the pool house. Since submitting information to the city April 14 about aspects that still needed funding, an additional private $50,000 donation came in. Those dollars will allow the Friends to replace the roof on the old portion of the pool house and take care of miscellaneous extras such as restoring 16 lighting sconces in the Grand Hall.

Lindberg took issue with an article on WauwatosaNOW.com that said the project was facing a shortfall, because she said it sent an incorrect message that the pool would open May 28 without amenities laid out in the original plan.

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Details of train vs. forklift collision in Wauwatosa released

April 26, 2011 7:35 a.m. | That a forklift driver walked away with some arm and hip pain after his machinery was struck by a train last week becomes more unbelievable now that details of the incident have been released by the Wauwatosa Police Department.

According to the accident report:

The 54-year-old driver working for Kinateder Masonry was heading northbound on 70th Street toward State Street. When he saw a stoplight, he pulled the forklift forward and stopped on the railroad tracks just after 10 a.m. April 18. The forklift was carrying nearly 4,500 pounds of stone for the 70th Street bridge reconstruction.

Witnesses said the train sounded its horn continuously from 68th to 70th streets to try to clear the tracks.

The driver said he panicked when he heard the train horn and warning signals and saw the crossing gates come down behind him. He didn't want to back up into the gate so he made a U-turn and was able to turn far enough that the back tire of the forklift took most of the impact.

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McBride: Let mayor's veto stand

April 25, 2011 9:32 p.m. | One member of the Wauwatosa Common Council who voted in favor of ratifying the union contracts last week, said he won't try to override the mayor's veto.

Alderman Dennis McBride today sent a letter to his fellow council members saying he intends "to make a motion to table any effort to override" when the issue comes up again May 3.

"If the council votes in favor of my motion, the controversy will be over and the council can then move on to dealing with the many other important issues that we must address each week," McBride said.

While he disagrees with Mayor Jill Didier's decision last week to veto the 8-7 approval to ratify contracts with three employee unions - dispatchers, public works and clerical - he acknowledged the process had been played out in two meetings with public comment and hundreds of calls and emails from people with different views on the issue.

"It is my belief that no purpose will be served in bringing this issue to another vote," he said.

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Expect traffic backups in Village this week

April 25, 2011 12:58 p.m. | Work to revitalize the former Drew's building will cause lane/road closures in the Village, starting today.

The plumbing contractor will be digging in Wauwatosa Avenue and half way between Harwood Avenue and Blanchard Street to install new water service to the building, beginning today. Lane closures and possibly complete closures of Wauwatosa Avenue in the Village could occur throughout the project.

The building is now home to Go Green, a sustainable design showroom. A boutique for green products and a yogurt shop will be added to the mix as renovations are completed.

Clarke assists disoriented motorist in Wauwatosa

April 22, 2011 8:36 p.m. | Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. came to the aid Friday of a disoriented motorist who jumped a curb and almost struck a light pole in Wauwatosa, a sheriff's official said.

After the woman's vehicle jumped the curb on W. Watertown Plank Road near U.S. Highway 45 about 2 p.m., paramedics assessed the 63-year-old woman as diabetic with an abnormally low blood sugar level, according to a department news release.

The woman put the car in reverse, but stopped when Clarke, who was driving near the sheriff's office, approached her and had her shut off the vehicle.

Clarke suspected the woman was medically impaired and stayed with her until paramedics arrived to treat her, according to the release.

Mayor vetoes labor contracts

April 20, 2011 12:22 p.m. | Mayor Jill Didier has vetoed the ratification of three union contracts approved by a slim majority of the Wauwatosa Common Council last night.

She has put a stop to collective bargaining agreements with the public works, clerks and dispatchers unions, which represent about a quarter of the city's employees.

Didier has been vocal in explaining that it was a petition of five aldermen that forced the special meeting and a new vote on the issue. She reiterated that sentiment in a letter to the city clerk exercising her veto power as mayor.

"I believe it is wrong for council members to take this approach to policy-making," she said.

The process was "fully vetted" and normal procedures were followed when the council voted to deny the contracts March 15, she added.

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Wauwatosa OKs labor contracts after hot debate

April 19, 2011 11:40 p.m. | Wauwatosa — The Wauwatosa Common Council reversed itself late Tuesday and approved three public employee labor contracts aldermen had rejected a month before.

The decision came in the context of a supercharged political environment in the hometown of Gov. Scott Walker, with some of the dozens of speakers from the city urging officials to reject the contracts until Walker's budget-repair bill goes into effect, and others echoing union demonstrators' support of bargaining rights.

Aldermen were still speaking about the decision as of 11 p.m., but when the vote was taken at 11:10, the result was 8-7 in favor of the contracts.

Ald. Dennis McBride, one of five who sought the special meeting to discuss the contracts, referred to Wauwatosa as a "deeply divided city."

Ald. Cheryl Berdan, who works in Walker's Milwaukee office, urged that the contracts be rejected, pointing out that the city voted in favor of Justice David Prosser in the recent Supreme Court election - one that many viewed as a referendum on Walker's budget plans.

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Tosa ratifies union contracts despite vocal public opposition

April 19, 2011 11:09 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Common Council tonight ratified contracts with three employee unions - dispatchers, clerks and public works - by a vote of 8-7 after more than four hours of debate. More than 250 people packed City Hall for the special meeting.

In favor of ratifying the contracts: Aldermen Linda Nikcevich, Kathleen Causier, Dennis McBride, Tim Hanson, Bobby Pantuso, Jeff Roznowski, Craig Wilson and Jason Wilke.

Opposed: Aldermen Peter Donegan, Brian Ewerdt, Jacqueline Jay, Eric Meaux, Michael Walsh, Cheryl Berdan and Don Birschel.

Jill Organ was not present.

The majority of the people who spoke tonight were opposed to ratifying the contracts.

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Woman takes off in SUV while driver pays bill

April 19, 2011 10:17 p.m. | It seems a local man learned the hard way why it's never a good idea to leave the car running when you're not in it.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

After getting into a conversation with a woman at a gas station, the man offered to take her for a drive.

He stopped at Metcalfe's Market, 6700 W. State St., about 8:20 p.m. April 13 to pay a bill, and left the vehicle running. She took off in the 2002 Acura MDX sports-utility vehicle, which belonged to the man's girlfriend.

City Hall filling up for contract vote; follow along here

April 19, 2011 6:14 p.m. | More than 230 people have filled Wauwatosa City Hall and there's still more than 20 minutes before a special meeting to revote on ratifying union contracts begins.

People started showing up at 4 p.m., but the council chamber wasn't opened until 5:30 p.m. At that point at long line of people filed in, filling every seat in the chambers. Capacity of 172 has been reached, and an overflow room is standing-room only.

Police and Fire officials are providing security and making sure the crowd remains orderly. The council members have not yet arrived.

Get updates on the meeting on Twitter by following @TosaReporter, or watch for updates on WauwatosaNOW.com. Watching the meeting from home? Send your comments to me at sscott@cninow.com.

Only two of 25 clerks tested sell cigarettes to minors

April 19, 2011 5:10 p.m. | The vast majority of Tosa's 25 tobacco-selling businesses passed a recent under-age sales check with flying colors; however, two clerks sold cigarettes to the police-supervised minors after checking their IDs because they figured the youths' ages wrong.

The Wauwatosa Police Department works with volunteer minors to check whether retailers are enforcing law that only people 18 and older can buy tobacco products.

According to department records:

A clerk at Pick 'n Save on State Street sold cigarettes to the minors

A 21-year-old clerk at Pick 'n Save on State Street looked at the IDs of two Wauwatosa East High School students, ages 16 and 17, then sold them cigarettes. The teens immediately reported the sale to an officer at the scene.

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Two students arrested for East locker room thefts

April 19, 2011 4:54 p.m. | Cell phones, cameras, MP3 players and even a pair of shoes - all stolen from the girls locker room at Wauwatosa East High School since late March - were found in the possession of two students who told police they planned to sell the goods and split the cash, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

A 17-year-old Milwaukee girl and a 16-year-old Wauwatosa girl were arrested for the thefts April 12, after another student discovered items were missing from her backpack, which had been left in the locker room. Others had seen the duo in the locker room even though they weren't enrolled in gym class during that period, the report states. The girls were then seen heading to a car in the parking lot shortly afterward.

Also according to the report:

A search of the older girl's bag turned up the MP3 player that had gone missing that day. Officers then decided to search her vehicle, but she hid her keys in a restroom and pretended they were lost. Eventually, four phones, a camera, another MP3 player and the shoes were recovered from the car.

Officers wanted to search her home, but the girl's mother said she would take care of it. That turned up two more cameras and three more cell phones. The girl had used many of the items to text, call, take pictures and make videos.

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Police report: Thefts were meant to fund rent payments

April 19, 2011 4:32 p.m. | A drug addict about to be kicked out of her home took purses and jeans from Macy's at Mayfair on Saturday afternoon intending to sell the items to get rent money, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also according to the report:

The 27-year-old Cudahy woman fled in a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old Oak Creek man. They were pulled over at Mayfair Road and Capitol Drive. Although she was hiding the stolen goods under a coat on her lap, she swore the man knew nothing of the theft.

She said they both were addicted to OxyContin and that she had a problem with heroin, but the money was to be used for rent since she was facing eviction. She planned to sell the purses to a cocaine dealer who buys nice things for his wife. Because she's not a crack cocaine user, payment would be in cash, not drugs.

As the officer took the recovered merchandise back to his patrol car, he saw a plastic bag fly out the other vehicle and into a ditch. It contained paraphernalia used to inject drugs.

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Care about city union contracts? Get to Tosa meeting early to get a seat

April 19, 2011 1:18 p.m. | City officials are expecting a large turnout for today's 6:30 p.m. special Common Council meeting, called to take a new vote on ratifying contracts with three employee unions.

Based on the volume of calls and emails coming in - both in support and in opposition to approving the collective bargaining agreements that had been denied in mid-March - a few aldermen have questioned whether a move to a larger venue such as the Wauwatosa West High School auditorium might better accommodate the public.

The meeting will remain at City Hall, City Administrator James Archambo said.

Ordinance stipulates that moving a meeting requires a vote by the council at its prior meeting. But the petition signed by five aldermen that led to the revote was turned in after the council's most recent meeting.

Man arrested for starting grass fires near apartment complex

April 18, 2011 10:04 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Fire Department had to put out three grass fires after a Wauwatosa apartment dweller who missed life in the country decided to cook his dinner outside and the flames got out of hand last week, according to a police report.

Also from the report:

Emergency squads were called to the Fountain Apartments, 9617 W. Hampton Ave., at 10:56 p.m. April 12 to extinguish grass fires near the creek that runs through the property.

A 53-year-old man who lived in one of the units had started a fire in a pit. A neighbor noticed the flames had spread to the grass, so she yelled down to alert him. He got up and stomped the ground, but didn't put out the fire.

When firefighters arrives, the initial fire was still going. By that time, the man had moved down the embankment, where he was seen starting a second fire. He put dried grass on the embers and started blowing on it to make the blaze grow. As firefighters responded, he ran off.

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Man with near-fatal blood-alcohol content arrested for child neglect

April 18, 2011 9:18 p.m. | A 35-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for child neglect after he was found lying on his floor intoxicated and incoherent at his home on North 68th Street last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The mother of his two daughters, ages 4 and 8, received a call reporting the older child hadn't shown up for school that day. When the mother arrived at the man's home at 9:25 a.m. April 11 she found him on the floor unable to function or communicate. Two large bottles of vodka were found within reach, nearly empty.

His blood-alcohol content was 0.498, a level that can prove fatal. Paramedics took him to Froedtert Hospital because he remained in a semiconscious state.

Police described the home as unclean. The daughters told officers that their father had gotten sick several times during the night, fell off the couch and toilet several times and drank heavily. They had to make dinner and breakfast and put themselves to bed and he couldn't take them to school.

Revote on Tosa union contracts draws open meetings complaint

April 18, 2011 2:48 p.m. | Wauwatosa - A resident on Monday filed a complaint alleging that a number of aldermen violated the state's open meetings law and took part in a conspiracy to hold a special Common Council meeting Tuesday night to overturn a vote last month not to approve several union contracts.

Stanley L. Zurawski Sr. has asked the state attorney general's office to investigate his complaint.

Ald. Donald Birschel and Linda Nikcevich, who were among five council members who called for the special session, said Zurawski's complaint has no merit.

On March 15, the council was scheduled to approve a series of labor contracts with local unions. But more than 100 people showed up at City Hall, nearly all of them to oppose the contracts, and the council ended up rejecting the pacts.

Zurawski said Monday that he and other residents want the council to hold off on approving contracts until after Gov. Scott Walker's measures that eliminate most collective bargaining for public employees can take effect. The law setting up those measures is being challenged in court.

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Forklift driver escapes injury in Tosa train crash

April 18, 2011 11:34 a.m. | A forklift was struck by a train this morning at 70th and State streets, but its operator was able to maneuver himself enough to escape personal injury, according to the Wauwatosa Fire Department.

The man is part of the crew working on bridge reconstruction there. He was moving a pallet of concrete blocks when the forklift got stuck on the tracks. As the train approached, he was able to turn the forklift enough to get himself out of the train's path.

He suffered only minor injuries and declined an ambulance.

The scene is now clear and traffic is running smoothly.

Fire Department's car seat safety team nominated for honor

April 15, 2011 1:56 p.m. | A team of five Wauwatosa Fire Department car seat installation technicians has been nominated for an annual safety award from Safe Kids of Southeast Wisconsin.

The department was nominated in the Super Tech category because its team of two to three certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians last year conducted 210 car seat checks. There also was recognition of the department's commitment to adding to its team and providing its facilities as training sites.

The New Berlin and Cudahy fire departments and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, as well several private groups and individuals, also have been nominated.

Winners will be announced at a recognition breakfast Tuesday.

Ability Center wins Marquette's business plan competition

April 15, 2011 1:50 p.m. | Wauwatosa resident Damian Buchman's business plan for building and operating an athletic facility for the physically disabled won Marquette University's business plan contest this week.

The plan from the Ability Center took the Social Venture category in the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship's Business Plan Competition. Rules require that entrants have a connection to the college, so Buchman partnered with two friends who, like Buchman, have survived cancer.

Marquette undergraduate student Adam Petraglia and alum Austin Cappelle, a finance and international business graduate, rounded out his team.

Buchman said he didn't enter expecting to win. He was up against professors and students completing advanced degrees.

"A business plan was something I've been meaning to do for two years," he said. "I really saw this as a tool to force me to sit down and get it done."

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Wauwatosa to reconsider union contracts

April 15, 2011 7:58 a.m. | Wauwatosa Common Council will take a new vote Tuesday on whether to ratify contracts with three employee unions. The move could reverse the city government's March decision to deny contracts and look to savings from Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget-repair bill.

A special meeting has been called for 6:30 p.m. at the request of five aldermen who signed a petition this week, Mayor Jill Didier said.

"They can force me to call a special meeting of the council," she said, explaining that a clause in the city's code allows for such action. "By ordinance I have to comply."

Those aldermen in order of the signatures on the petition are Linda Nikcevich, Don Birschel, Jeff Roznowski, Dennis McBride and Bobby Pantuso.

A month ago, the council voted not to ratify tentative agreements with the public works, dispatcher, clerical and fire unions. A crowd of about 100 people turned out, most urging city officials to wait until Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget-repair bill became law. Since then a Dane County judge has put a restraining order barring the law from being implemented.

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Fans shocked over Landisch's firing

April 14, 2011 3:50 p.m. | The firing of Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach Mike Landisch became official Wednesday, ending a 16-day debate with the administration while upsetting Trojans fans.

Landisch was officially told Wednesday by the administration that he will not have his contract renewed to coach next season.

Landisch, who is recovering from a well-publicized battle with cancer, is coming off one of the best seasons in the school's recent history, as the Trojans won the regional championship for the first time since 1996.

At the end of March, Landisch was initially given an option to resign, take a leave of absence or not have his contract renewed.

According to Landisch, he was told by the administration that the players weren't getting a positive experience. He was told his health had changed his demeanor.

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Landisch out as Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach

April 14, 2011 7:00 a.m. | Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach Mike Landisch was officially told Wednesday by the administration that he will not have his contract renewed to coach next season.

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Dye tests of sewers will turn Tosa creek green

April 13, 2011 12:45 p.m. | Washington Highlands residents should not panic when the Schoonmaker Creek, which runs through the neighborhood, turns green.

Like last year, the city has again hired consultants to test the sewer system for leaks by flooding it with water dyed green. Because the storm sewer is not enclosed at the end, residents may notice a trickle of green water discharging into the creek throughout the day, followed by heavy amounts similar to what occurs to during a rain storm at the end of each day.

"Schoonmaker Creek is going to look green for about two months," said Chris Stamborski, project manager with consultant R.A. Smith National. "It definitely gives everybody a little surprise if they are not prepared."

The water eventually dumps into the Menomonee River.

The dye is a nontoxic powder that becomes bright and easy to see when added to water expelled from fire hydrants and routed to the storm sewers, he said. Crews will be investigating adjacent sanitary sewers, looking for sources of dyed water entry into that system.

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'Mad City' screenwriter will take your questions

April 13, 2011 10:30 a.m. | "Mad City," a 1997 film starring Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta didn't exactly break box-office attendance records. But more than a decade after its debut, its screenwriter, Wauwatosa resident Tom Matthews, hopes to introduce the movie to a new audience during a screening at the Times Cinema this weekend.

"It's a film that many people didn't see," he said.

Matthews attended film school in southern California, then took his chances in Hollywood. After 12 years of writing unsold screenplays, he and his wife decided to move back to Wisconsin, where he grew up. Then he found a buyer for "Mad City."

The flick was inspired by a 1950s film, "Ace in the Hole," written and directed by Billy Wilder and starring Kirk Douglas. It was the story of former big-city journalist now working for a small-town newspaper. He exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to try to get his career back on track.

Matthews' version brought the idea of sensational journalism into the television age by focusing on a compromised television reporter (Hoffman) who perpetuates a hostage situation at a museum so he can get air time.

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Great American Cleanup comes to Tosa

April 13, 2011 10:10 a.m. | Milwaukee County residents are urged to pitch in to clear parks, roadways and rivers of litter and junk during the Keep America Beautiful 2011 Great American Cleanup on Saturday.

Individuals and groups can volunteer at sites along the Menomonee River in Wauwatosa from 9 a.m. to noon. Cleanup supplies will be provided, but participants should bring gloves.

Work sites are as follows:

• Harley Woods, meet at Capitol Drive and Menomonee River Parkway (off Highway 45) on the northwest intersection on the grass

• Honey Creek, 135 S. 84th St., at the CH2M Hill parking lot

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Outpost looking to add more indoor, outdoor seating

April 13, 2011 10:08 a.m. | Don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. That's one of the pieces of wisdom passed down to generations of consumers.

But it seems many of the people buying food at Outpost Natural Foods, 7000 W. State St., do just that.

To accommodate the people who just couldn't wait to dig in to their new-bought treats or those that stop in specifically for a quick lunch, the food cooperative wants to expand its indoor and outdoor seating options.

The Plan Commission on Monday unanimously supported enclosing a 280-square-foot section at the front of the store to accommodate an indoor seating area. Plans next go to the Community Development Committee for consideration April 26.

"We already have a seating crunch inside, especially when the weather is not so great outside," said Lisa Malmarowski, director of brand and store development during an interview after the meeting.

» Read Full Article

Nicolet's Green named NOW Girls Basketball Player of the Year

April 13, 2011 8:31 a.m. | Nicolet's Ashley Green was nearly unstoppable this season as she led the Knights to the school's first-ever state basketball championship and 26-2 overall mark.

She has been named the NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She's joined on the team by teammates Gaby Bronson and Alex Cohen and coach Corey Wolf, who was named the All-Suburban Coach of the Year for the second time.

Visit MyCommunityNOW.com's All-Suburban page for a closer look at the team, including player bios, photo galleries and more.

2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team

2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Team

Boutique B'lou moving to North Avenue

April 12, 2011 9:30 p.m. | After 14 years in Elm Grove, women's clothing shop Boutique B'lou is moving to Wauwatosa.

Owner Barbara Berg lives in Wauwatosa and everyone from her grandparents down to her children have attended the school district.

"My roots are very, very deep in Tosa," she said.

When she couldn't find an appropriate spot to set up shop, she looked west. She said she has enjoyed her time in Elm Grove, but the business got moved around the Reinder's property in the past two years.

With "Tosa always pulling at my heartstrings," she checked out the former Furniture Clearance Center space, 8901 W. North Ave. But she wasn't able to take on all 25,000 square feet.

» Read Full Article

Hoyt pool will have security cameras, thanks to donation

April 12, 2011 9:04 p.m. | When the new Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park opens, the lifeguards won't be the only eyes keeping watch.

During today's Tosa's Night Out kickoff lunch at Alioto's, the Wauwatosa Neighborhood Watch Committee donated $8,000 to the Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool for the purchase of surveillance cameras, said Harry Kohal, committee president.

The Wauwatosa Police Department will be able to monitor the cameras remotely, even from patrol cars, and pool staff members will be able to monitor feed as well, said Paul Leist, a patrol specialist with the Community Support Division of the Wauwatosa Police Department.

The committee holds fundraisers throughout the year, such as the upcoming Mother's Day Pancake Breakfast, a joint effort with Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers. In the past, the money raised has helped pay for a new police motorcycle and replaced traffic vests and bullet-proof vests for officers.

"Wauwatosa is a great community, and we want to keep it safe," Kohal said.

» Read Full Article

Man's female visitors cause Wauwatosa hotel to call police

April 12, 2011 10:42 a.m. | A 63-year-old man partying in a local hotel before moving out of state caused hotel management to suspect prostitution was occurring.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Police were called to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive, after an argument broke out in a guest room at 5 a.m. April 4. The man had rented a room and invited a woman he had met via a telephone personals service to visit him. The meeting led to a conflict about money and sex, with the man saying he hadn't hired a prostitute.

Hotel management again called police about 8 p.m. when the man escorted his third or fourth female companion into the hotel within a 20-hour period. They wanted him removed from the property because the business doesn't condone such behavior.

His companion was a 19-year-old woman from Zion, Ill. They also had met via the telephone party line. He said he had driven over the border and picked her up for a date, and he would be taking her home soon. A search of the woman's purse turned up 3.65 grams of marijuana, so she was arrested for drug possession.

» Read Full Article

24-hour Walmart grocery store wins Wauwatosa Plan Commission's support

April 12, 2011 10:04 a.m. | Mayor Jill Didier wanted to get one message clear: "I do not want a Walmart" in Wauwatosa, she said.

But a smaller neighborhood grocery store and pharmacy operated by the retail giant got her approval Monday night.

Walmart won unanimous support from the Plan Commission for its plans to open a 24-hour Neighborhood Market in a vacant building at 124th Street and Capitol Drive. The 65,000-square-foot facility previously housed Jewel-Osco. This time around, Walmart proposes using 38,000 square feet and splitting the remaining space among up to three tenants.

The commission approval is a recommendation that the Community Development Committee will take into account when it considers granting a conditional-use permit for the use.

Walmart would be prohibited from expanding into those other spaces and creating one of its traditional stores by language in the developer's agreement, said Debbie Tomczyk, an attorney for the project. Such an agreement is required by the city's ordinance - which Tomczyk actually helped create - regulating "big-box" retail.

» Read Full Article

Tosa retail plan praised, but also draws concerns over lack of offices

April 12, 2011 7:00 a.m. | A plan to convert warehouses in Wauwatosa's Burleigh Triangle area into new stores won praise from the city Plan Commission Monday night, but also drew concerns over a lack of office space in the development plan.

Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate Inc. is proposing the development, called The Mayfair Collection, for 69 acres east of Highway 45 and north of W. Burleigh St.

HSA Commercial owns the former Roundy's and Kohl's supermarket warehouses totaling around 62 acres at the site. A 7-acre warehouse property, operated by Total Logistic Control, is in the middle of the site, which HSA Commercial also hopes to eventually include in its project.

In the project's first phase, HSA Commercial plans to demolish part of the former Roundy's warehouse complex, just east of Highway 45, and convert the remaining space into roughly 250,000 square feet of retail space.

Another initial phase calls for stores and restaurants to be in new buildings developed just north of Burleigh St., said Tim Blum, of HSA Commercial.

» Read Full Article

Massage Envy plans Mayfair Road spa

April 11, 2011 10:36 p.m. | Massage Envy, a national massage chain, has chosen Wauwatosa for its next location.

The business, which already operates five establishments in the Milwaukee area, plans to occupy a storefront next to Flat-Top Grill at One Mayfair Place, 2751 N. Mayfair Road.

A representative for Massage Envy told the Plan Commission tonight that 25 to 30 people would work for the business.

Alderman Jeff Roznowski, who represents the district, called it "a nice fill to the space." He looked at reviews and researched the chain, because the city has had problems with the owner of another massage business, Milwaukee's Best Massage, elsewhere on Mayfair Road.

"Every indication is that this is a very positive business," he said.

» Read Full Article

Officer breaks up party, but underage drinkers get away

April 11, 2011 6:54 p.m. | Police put a stop to a party where it is believed more than 50 people were drinking underage and doing drugs, but attendees got away before any arrests could be made.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An officer responded to a tip about a few teens drinking beer outside a home in the 8100 block of Stickney Avenue about 11:30 p.m. April 2. When he arrived, he saw people run inside and heard people yelling that the cops had arrived and the doors should be locked.

As the officer called for backup, numerous party-goers ran out the back, through neighboring yards or to waiting cars.

Four girls - ages 15 and 16 - were stopped, and they told the officer about 50 to 60 people ranging in ages from 14 to 20 had been the house and that many had been drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and using prescription drugs.

» Read Full Article

Four rookie firefighters pass skills test

April 11, 2011 12:24 p.m. | Four rookie firefighters passed evaluations last week, so they will become officials members of the Wauwatosa Fire Department come May.

"When our new firefighters get hired, they are placed on probation for one year," Deputy Chief James Case explained. "During this probation year, they are given weekly assignments, which include hands-on training, learning our policies/procedures, and local area familiarization or map training."

They culminated their first year of service with three days of rigorous testing of their life-saving skills, including extricating people from vehicles, using emergency equipment and fighting fires.

The testing concluded Thursday with four recruits - A.J. Brudnicki, Darrell Frady, Ryan Stanwood and Eric Straus - making the grade.

Vote on decorated mailboxes to help Habitat for Humanity

April 07, 2011 4:10 p.m. | Two Wauwatosa elementary schools are among the competitors in a contest that will raise money for Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.

Madison and Underwood students transformed mailboxes into works of art during art classes. The creations will be on display for a month beginning Friday in the Mayfair food court so the public can vote and bid on their favorite mailboxes.

Schools were given a mailbox and $50 for supplies. David J. Frank Landscape Contracting donated products for the project.

A dozen schools entered the competition, including Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, just beyond Tosa's border in Milwaukee. The school that raises the most money will receive a $500 gift card from the mall.

Girls Greater Metro Conference indoor meet photo gallery now online

April 07, 2011 7:16 a.m. | We've just posted Peter Zuzga's photo gallery from the girls Greater Metro Conference indoor meet, which was yesterday at West Allis Central.

Brookfield Central emerged with a victory, compiling 160.5 points to 131.5 for Brookfield East.

Go to photo gallery.

Boys GMC indoor photo gallery

Habanero's wants to more than double outdoor seating

April 06, 2011 11:03 a.m. | Habanero's Mexican Kitchen wants to more than double its outdoor seating in preparation for Wisconsin's warmer weather months.

Plans submitted to the city's Community Development Department call for adding 36 spots to the existing 28 outdoor seats at the restaurant, 869 N. Mayfair Road.

"The existing outdoor seating is very popular and often has a wait during good weather," said Edward Bushman, president of general contractor Victor Construction, which initially constructed the restaurant. "Habanero's always strives to keep their patrons satisfied, and many (customers) have suggested it."

Bushman will appear before the Plan Commission on Monday to request a conditional-use permit, which is required of any establishment that wants to put seating outside its building.

If the commission, other committees and eventually the Common Council approve the plans, patio construction could be complete in early June, he said.

» Read Full Article

Greater Metro Conference indoor track photo gallery now online

April 06, 2011 9:41 a.m. | We've just posted Peter Zuzga's photo gallery from yesterday's Greater Metro Conference indoor track meet at West Allis Central.

Brookfield East ran away with first place, scoring 215 points to 77 for second-place Hamilton.

Go to photo gallery.

Germantown's Showalter named NOW Player of the Year

April 06, 2011 8:03 a.m. | Germantown's Zak Showalter raised his game this season, leading the Warhawks to a 24-2 mark and earning All-State honors.

He's also the 2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year. He is joined on the team, now in its 22nd season, by Whitefish Bay coach Kevin Lazovik and 10 more of the top high school basketball players in the area.

Visit MyCommunityNOW.com's special page for a closer look at the team, including player bios, a photo gallery and more. The girls team will be announced next week.

2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Team

Curling clubhouse, fossil reef making history

April 06, 2011 1:02 a.m. | The Historic Preservation Commission has its sights on designating the Muellner Building and Schoonmaker Reef as the city's next landmarks.

The Muellner Building serves as the Hart Park Senior Center and clubhouse for the Wauwatosa Curling Club. However, it started as a Works Progress Administration project as part of the country's New Deal in the 1930s.

"It was found eligible for the National Register of Historic Places - but it was never listed - as part of the environmental compliance process that obtained federal funds to construct the senior center back in the late 1990s," said Brian Faltinson, commission chairman.

The building has played an important part in Wauwatosa recreation and may be the first indoor ice rink in the Milwaukee area, he said.

As for the Schoonmaker Reef, it's listed as a National Historic Landmark for its archeological significance. Faltinson likens the list to a hall of fame that features the finest historic resources.

» Read Full Article

Grant enables Fire Department to replace outdated radios

April 06, 2011 12:38 a.m. | The Fire Department will receive nearly $36,000 to replace outdated radios needed to communicate during emergencies.

The 22 new radios will offer more reliable access to mutual aid channels so Wauwatosa can correspond with other emergency response agencies during large-scale disasters, such as floods, snow storms or an attack on private communications networks.

"Radios communications in the Milwaukee area can be very confusing to say the least," Deputy Fire Chief Bill Rice said.

The department's old VHF radios will become obsolete within a year due to re-banding, so new radios are necessary, Rice said. The grant money will buy mobile radios to mount on rigs. The city will need to find funding in its budget to buy portable radios for each firefighter to carry at emergency scenes.

With some additional programming, the radios will be compatible with the Wisconsin Interoperability System for Communications, which is anticipated to provide 95 percent mobile radio coverage across the state. It's expected to launch in July, but it could be a slow process, Rice said.

» Read Full Article

Tosa shows Republican leanings

April 05, 2011 11:26 p.m. | Wauwatosa voters cast more ballots for Republican candidates than Democrat on Tuesday.

Nearly 54 percent of Tosa voters chose Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, to fill the Milwaukee County executive position for the next year. However, the majority of the county picked competitor Chris Abele.

There were no contested municipal or School Board races. Alderman Jeff Roznowski will fulfill the final year of former District 6 representative Thomas Herzog's term.

School Board incumbents Sharon Muehlfeld, Mary Jo Randall and Lois Weber will continue for three more years. Thomas Jarosz is a newcomer replacing Jon Ray, who didn’t run for re-election.


» Read Full Article

30 bags of pot found in purse left at Mayfair

April 05, 2011 8:48 p.m. | A purse containing nearly 65 grams of marijuana was left at a cell phone retailer's kiosk at Mayfair Mall on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

T-Mobile had been busy, so when an employee noticed about 2 p.m. that a purse was left on the counter, he didn't know who had left it behind. He opened the handbag to look for identification but only found makeup and pot.

The drugs had been divvied up into more than 30 plastic bags, a common practice for dealers. The employee turned the purse and its contents over to mall security, which in turn gave the marijuana to police.

Man hit in head with fake gun

April 05, 2011 8:46 p.m. | A 19-year-old man was hit in the head with an air-pellet gun designed to look like a real handgun outside McDonald's about 11:25 p.m. Friday night.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man was trying to calm his father, who was upset over a family problem, when another man standing with a group of people in the McDonald's parking lot, 3131 N. Mayfair Road, made some rude comments. The 19-year-old told the man to mind his own business, and they exchanged words. He was taken by surprise when the man hit him in the back of the head with an object.

The victim's mother and friend saw him get hit and fall to the ground. He told his mother his head hurt and that she should call for help. His head was bleeding and paramedics treated him at the scene.

Meanwhile, the friend ran after the assailant, but he eventually lost him.

» Read Full Article

Bare Escentuals to open Friday at Mayfair

April 05, 2011 1:56 p.m. | Mayfair mall's newest cosmetics store--Bare Escentuals--will open Friday, April 8, on the first floor, across from the Gap. 

The company specializes in products made from natural minerals. The brand is available at a number of retailers.

The new Mayfair store is the second Bare Escentuals boutique in the Milwaukee area. The other location is at the Bayshore Town Center.  

Witnesses to hit-and-run keep driver in sight

April 04, 2011 5:20 p.m. | Wauwatosa police arrested a 37-year-old West Allis woman for driving while under the influence of drugs March 23 after her vehicle struck a traffic pole on Mayfair Road.

According to the police report:

A hit-and-run collision occurred in the 800 block of North Mayfair Road about 4 p.m. March 23. Witnesses said a truck struck a traffic pole, knocking it down, and then drove to a parking lot in the 10700 block of Research Drive.

Witnesses followed the woman to the parking lot, and when officers made contact with her, she said she had nodded off because she had taken two Vicodin pills and one-and-a-half Xanax pills earlier in the day. Police found a 3.5-inch pipe near where the woman had been hiding in the parking lot, but when confronted with it, the woman said, "I smoke crack, but I don't use that kind of pipe."

The woman then told police she had smoked crack three days earlier.

» Read Full Article

Walmart Market hopes to open near 124th and Capitol

April 01, 2011 4:38 p.m. | Walmart is proposing to open a grocery story in the former Jewel-Osco building near 124th Street and Capitol Drive in Wauwatosa.

The Plan Commission is expected to consider a request for a conditional-use permit - all grocery stores require such a permit in the city - for Walmart Neighborhood Market at its meeting April 11, Tosa planner Jennifer Ferguson said. The planning department is recommending approval of the permit.

"They would be converting 38,000 square feet into a Walmart Market with a drive-through for a pharmacy," Ferguson said. The remainder of the 63,000-square-foot building would be available to be split for three tenants.

Walmart Neighborhood Market stores are about a quarter of the size of Walmart Supercenters and function largely as grocery stores.

The city has received general site plans, but the April 11 discussion will focus only on the use of the building.

» Read Full Article
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Community Watch

» UPDATE: School District, teachers union reach interim agreement 4/29

» CDC sets discussion on details of Burleigh Triangle proposal 4/29

» Darker Tosa streets save money, but generate complaints 4/27

» Glenview, Highway 100 plans scaled back 4/27

» Scammer targets Mayfair retailers 4/27

» Teens beat, rob man in Wauwatosa because he criticized their behavior 4/27

» Share your thoughts about trail County Grounds trails at forum 4/26

» Video of naked neighbor results in arrest for lewd behavior in Wauwatosa 4/26

» Woman comes home to find drunk stranger in her bed, police say 4/26

» City money not needed for Tosa pool project 4/26

» Details of train vs. forklift collision in Wauwatosa released 4/26

» McBride: Let mayor's veto stand 4/25

» Expect traffic backups in Village this week 4/25

» Clarke assists disoriented motorist in Wauwatosa 4/22

» Mayor vetoes labor contracts 4/20

» Wauwatosa OKs labor contracts after hot debate Updated:  4/19

» Tosa ratifies union contracts despite vocal public opposition 4/19

» Woman takes off in SUV while driver pays bill 4/19

» City Hall filling up for contract vote; follow along here 4/19

» Only two of 25 clerks tested sell cigarettes to minors 4/19

» Two students arrested for East locker room thefts 4/19

» Police report: Thefts were meant to fund rent payments 4/19

» Care about city union contracts? Get to Tosa meeting early to get a seat 4/19

» Man arrested for starting grass fires near apartment complex 4/18

» Man with near-fatal blood-alcohol content arrested for child neglect 4/18

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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.