Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Parent bothered by sex questions on Youth Risk Survey

 The West Bend School Board voted 5 – 2 this week in favor of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Prior to the presentation and board vote, parent Mary Weigand addressed the school board and challenged them to “do the right thing.”

Some of Weigand’s comments are below:

“I’m a registered nurse and …. we don’t need a survey to know kids are involved in risky behaviors.”

“I’m concerned about very leading questions – ‘How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?’ How would you feel if you were asked that question? ‘During your life how many people have you had sexual intercourse with?'”

“Which of the following best describes you: transgender, heterosexual, bisexual, not sure?’ What does this have to do with educating our children?”

“I’m very concerned about offending students and offending parents. I know that parents have to sign off on this but just the thought that this is being brought forth in our schools.”

Later in the meeting Sharon Kailas, Pupil Services Director/ Head Start Director addressed the school board with parent Michelle Simpson who was in favor of the survey.

Parent Michelle Simpson spoke briefly about her family and how it has been affected by risky youth behavior.  Some of Simpson’s comments are below.

“Abigail attended West Bend East for four years and came from a wonderful family and she’s lived greatly and we thought we did everything right…

“She had great grades and was a member of the varsity volleyball team …. and has a gentle soul and she also developed addiction.”

“The Youth Risk Behavior Survey does address a number of risky behaviors, sexual relations or behaviors is one and there are questions about that but there are a slew of other questions about a number of other risky behaviors.”

“I asked my son about it, would you answer questions about this  … he said, ‘Mom, kids will just lie.’ Yes some will, many will. But some of the questions they may not. Do you feel anxious in school? There are kids that could benefit from a lot of assistance if we can identify them earlier.”

The School Board asked several questions prior to voting on the survey.

-“We will only be using this at the high school,” said Kailas.

-“You can apply for grants… and this can bring money into the county,” said Simpson. “If we don’t have data, real data, numbers that say what the problem is in our county you cannot receive money, you just won’t get it because they say ‘how do you know you have a problem.'”

-The survey was presented by Well Washington County.

The West Bend School Board voted 5-2 in favor of the survey. Yes votes: Joel Ongert, Nancy Justman, Tiffany Larson, Tonnie Schmidt, Tim Stellmacher.  No votes: Monte Schmiege, Ken Schmidt

According to the Washington County Health Department all public schools in Washington County voted to approve administering the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to students in their respective school districts.

West Bend has an opt-in policy where parents need to sign and approve their child take the survey. Many of the school districts have an opt-out policy, meaning the students will take the survey unless the parents write in and request their child not take the survey. In West Bend the survey will be administered in spring.

Car crashes into utility pole and rolls into Big Cedar Lake

 Washington County Sheriff’s responded to a vehicle in Big Cedar Lake on Thursday night. According to the Sheriff the northbound vehicle was on Highway 144 just south of Highway K, the driver lost control, struck the utility pole and continued into Big Cedar Lake.

The vehicle did not become completely submerged. The driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, managed to escape on his own and climb to safety. The man told authorities he believed he was in the Oconomowoc area and actually had gone into the Rock River.

The accident happened at 11:21 p.m. The 65-year-old man is from Concord, WI and will be cited for first offense OWI.

Public hearing Tuesday to rezone West Bend Brewery property

There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 5 regarding a request to rezone land on N. Main Street that includes the old West Bend Brewery building along with the strip of other properties to the north.

Bob Bach from P2 Development is planning on razing the buildings for a 99 unit, three-story apartment building. Local businesses that would be affected include RT’s Speed Shop, Ray’s Shoes, Pruett’s Floor Covering, Casa Guadalupe and the cleaning-supply shop on the far north end.

During the November Plan Commission meeting Bach unveiled some preliminary drawings of street-level apartments that had a “row-house feel;” upper level apartments would have balconies.

Some local business leaders are asking whether Bach could redesign his proposal to include retail on the first level and apartments above.  Bach has said, “Commercial is pretty tough to do and it would command a pretty high rent.”

The rezoning would affect 2.65 acres of land 445-485 N. Main Street. The request would change from General Business and Warehouse to Mixed Use District. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Homeless shelter set to open in February 2018

Construction on Karl’s Place, a homeless shelter on Water Street in West Bend, is moving along smoothly according to American Construction Services of West Bend.

The groundbreaking on the $1.4 million project was Sept. 5.  According to Todd Weyker, vice president of operations at American Construction Services, the project is expected to be completed in February 2018.

“Years ago we recognized our ultimate goal was permanent housing to eliminate homeless,” said West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler.  “Through this emergency shelter we’ll be able to offer support services and transitional living.”

Family Promise of Washington County will be the owner and operator of the facility which will house up to 18 men and women with six supportive housing apartments.  The shelter will be staffed 24 hours a day and will address the needs of the individuals and assist them with access to food and shelter and assistance to gain employment and manage money.

The facility is called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield who has been a member of St. Vincent De Paul for 52 years.

“There is a need in Washington County for homeless singles, women and men,” said Glunz. “We’ve experience the need over the past four to five years and now we have the opportunity to provide them one building, for both men and women, with all the services they need to work themselves toward independent living.”

Katie Carrier inducted into Hall of Fame

Former West Bend East High School volleyball player Katie Carrier Astrauskas has been inducted into the St. Norbert College Athletics Hall of Fame. Carrier Astrauskas was a 2002 graduate of St. Norbert in De Pere and a four-year letter winner in women’s volleyball.

She is in her eighth season as head coach of the Ripon College volleyball team and ranks third in program history for career victories (89). She has led the Red Hawks to a 36-31 record in conference play and has coached two players to MWC Player of the Year honors.

Santa Ramp Up helps Cycling without Age                                         By Jeff Puetz

Some generous bicyclists during Sunday’s Santa Ramp Up in West Bend as participants donated $275.50 to Bike Friendly West Bend for the Cycling without Age program. Combined with donations from the West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. Bike to Work program a bicycle rickshaw will be purchased for the Cycling without Age program at Samaritan Health Center.

Bike Friendly West Bend and Samaritan Health Center collaborated on a grant application to the West Bend Community Foundation and was awarded $7,000 to fund the Cycling without Age program at Samaritan Health Center.

The committee consists of members from Bike Friendly West Bend, Washington / Ozaukee Health Department, Samaritan residents and family members. The committee will leverage the work done in other Cycling without Age programs to develop routes, rules, guidelines, schedules, destinations, etc.

Bicycle Friendly West Bend expects to kick off the program in May of 2018 with a celebration at Samaritan and the first official rickshaw rides. Excess funds will be used in accordance with Bicycle Friendly funding priorities. The next Cycling without Age meeting is Dec. 13.

Enchanted Raffle winners

On Friday, Nov. 24 the West Bend Sunrise Rotary held its Enchanted Raffle at Regner Park. Winners of the $1,000 prize were L. Nimmer from Colgate, Phyllis Schaefer of West Bend, and Tim Britton of Waterloo, WI. The $5,000 grand prize winner was Menter from Havenwood Court in Jackson. The Rotary winner of the $200 prize was Lori Yahr.

In-person absentee voting starts Monday, Dec. 4

Residents in the 58th Assembly District can begin voting in-person absentee on Monday, Dec. 4. This is the Republican primary for the special election to fill the seat left vacant following the death of Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon.

Four Republican candidates are running for the post. Their names are listed in ballot order: Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, Rick Gundrum and Steve Stanek. The primary is Dec. 19 and the special general election is Jan. 16, 2018 when the winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Dennis Degenhardt.

In-person absentee voting can be done at the front counter in the clerk’s office in Slinger, Jackson, and West Bend City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street. The clerk’s office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you’re looking to vote in the town it’s best to call the clerk for their hours as that’s a part-time position. The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend.

The term for the seat in the 58th Assembly District expires January 7, 2019.

Largest crowd ever for West Bend Christmas Parade

 Scores of families sat on blankets and folding chairs and lined Main Street last Sunday, Nov. 26 for the annual West Bend Christmas Parade. Organizers said it was the biggest turnout in the 65-year history of the parade. Children were delighted with colorful floats, rousing marching bands, and brilliant dance troupes and participants. Parade winners by category include:

Business: 1st place  –  West Bend Water Utility, 2nd place –  Cost Cutters, 3rd Place  –  Lifestar Ambulance

Youth: 1st place  –  Helping Hands Healing Hooves, 2nd place –  Faith United Church of Christ

Adult: 1st place  – West Bend Kettle Trailblazers, 2nd place – West Bend Moose Lodge, 3rd place –  tie – West Bend Children’s Theatre and Kohlsville Cruisers

Updates & tidbits

-To honor Mother Cabrini and the 100th Anniversary of her death, St. Frances Cabrini is collecting items for the Albrecht Free Clinic whose mission is, “To serve individuals in Washington County who are underinsured, uninsured and otherwise unable to afford medical services.” St. Frances Cabrini Month of Charity is Nov. 13 – Dec. 22.

– Adam Gitter has been named the new Economic Development Manager for the city of West Bend. Gitter is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh where he earned a Master’s of Public Administration. He also has an Associate’s Degree from UW-Washington County and a Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice from UW-Oshkosh. “Adam has solid relationship-building skills and will be a great asset to our community. He grew up in this area and currently resides in West Bend,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. Gitter is a veteran having served in the U.S. Army as Military Police with one tour supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

  Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing is collecting toys and money for Family Promise of Washington County’s Christmas Event. This event will help give local, needy children the Christmas they deserve. With a donation the shop is giving a free tire rotation or a set of free wiper blades (max $32 value) with any service. If you are looking to donate toys or help contribute feel free to stop by either of their locations or give a call at 262-338-3670.

-The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From now through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards. All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service. On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area. Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated.

– Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend is open. The annual light show collects money and food donations for food pantries across Washington County and Menomonee Falls. Husar’s Diamond Dash is Sunday, Dec. 3.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

-Help is available to families in Washington County that need assistance with winter heating bills. Contact Kay Lucas with the Washington County Human Services Department which oversees the Energy Assistance Program. The number is 262-335-4677.

– There will be a traditional tree lighting Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Berndt Park in Hartford.

-Winter on Main in downtown West Bend will be held the next three Fridays in the Downtown West Bend business district. Shop local DIVA businesses, dine at your favorite restaurant and explore Historic Downtown West Bend from 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

-Washington County Humane Society Festival of Trees is Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Washington County Humane Society, 3650 State Road 60 in Slinger. Walk though an enchanted forest of Christmas trees decorated by area businesses. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Adults are $7 and adults over 60 and children under 12 are $5

-Breakfast with Santa presented by the Slinger-Allenton Rotary is Saturday, Dec 2 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Slinger High School cafeteria. The cost is $5 and children 5 and under are free

-The Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158 Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 9 at West Bend Municipal Airport, 310 Aerial Drive. Come have breakfast and watch Santa arrive in a helicopter. Breakfast is 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.  No cost to see Santa. $6 per person for breakfast, children under 4 eat free.

-The Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours is Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 3 p.m. Four Historical Homes featured including: George Kissel Home – 215 E. Sumner Street, Charles Uber Home – 505 E. Sumner Street, Louis Kissel Home – 407 East Sumner Street and Adolph Laubenstein Home – 203 Church Street. $15 per person and tickets available through The Schauer Arts Center

One Response to Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

  1. Mark Hoefert says:

    RE: Youth Risk Survey.  I can understand the need to conduct this survey, as it is necessary for our local nonprofits and county health programs to access grant funds for planning services to deal with issues that impact the health of our residents, including our youth.  Like everywhere else, Washington County is impacted by heroin consumption which has a huge economic and social impact, so being proactive is necessary.

    That being said, it is ironic that the person who had negative things to say was cut off close to the 3-minute time limitation for public participation. As she noted, Board p0licy does allow for extension of time.  Later in the meeting, as part of the presentation by staff, a supportive parent was allowed to provide input, more than the 3-minute format under public participation.

     

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