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1946, 28 Nov 15

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Amity Rolfs nativity in place at Bits ‘n’ Pieces

New home for Amity Rolfs nativity: It was a labor of love this week as a group of downtown business owners and volunteers gathered to help set up the Amity Rolfs nativity.

A huge hat tip to Pat and Deb Bohn from Bits ‘n’ Pieces Floral as they will be hosting the nativity at their store, 319 S. Main Street.

“We wanted to keep it on the parade route,” said Downtown West Bend Association event manager Kellie Boone. The change in location came after Westbury Bank said it feared there were safety concerns with the manger.

A group of handymen and women, including Chris and Larry Porter, Scott Schmidt, Jim Spaeth, Kellie Boone, Carol Baranyk, and Pat and Deb Bohn worked to resurrect the nativity. All channeled their inner Tom O’Meara III to help recreate the nativity which dates to the late 1960s. For years O’Meara took charge of setting up the nativity.

Someone suggested that in order to get our “real Tom on” we needed to stop at Dublin’s first for a pint. While a popular idea, the group took advantage of the sunny, unseasonably-warm weather, and remained on task. Also a special thanks to West Bend Elevator for donating the straw for the manger.

Blooming Acres to try again

Blooming Acres is on the Dec. 8 agenda for the West Bend Plan Commission meeting.

If you remember, Blooming Acres was a popular seasonal gardening business in the Westwood Shopping Center, 2374A W. Washington Street. Owner Nathan Neumann started as a bare-bones operation in 1989 selling holiday trees and plants out of a temporary shelter across from the old Pick n’ Save north.

When he first opened Neumann ruffled a couple feathers across the driveway with Stein’s Garden’s and Gifts as it carried similar product and fought for the same customer dollar.

In 2014 the West Bend Plan Commission approved an outdoor permit for Neumann’s shop with the qualification he meet fencing requirements, standards for an outdoor greenhouse and staffing for a year-round operation.

In April 2015 the Plan Commission reviewed and unanimously revoked the site plan for Blooming Acres saying Neumann did not meet the obligations of the approvals originally granted by the commission.

Now, Neumann is back with a similar request to sell holiday trees from the same spot. City administrator T.J. Justice said the city has a responsibility to pave the way for open commerce.

“We’re doing research on whether a conditional use permit that was revoked – would preclude him from being able to obtain another approval,” Justice said.

Blooming Acres is based in Dodge County.  The number of Christmas tree outlets in West Bend has dropped over the years. In 2012 the Terlindens stopped selling trees from their front lawn at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Poplar Street. Meadowbrook Market has Christmas trees for sale as does PMF Landscaping.

Dragonfly Healing Arts Center

A new aromatherapy shop is opening in downtown West Bend. Dragonfly Healing Arts Center, 105 N. Main St., is sharing space inside Portraits Today.

“I want to teach people how to take care of themselves,” owner Kim Ward said. “I want to empower them to take care of themselves in a healthy way.”

Ward, 48, is a registered nurse with a double major in health and wellness. “I believe a majority of disease is caused by our immune system being weakened by products on our store shelves,” she said.

“I’m going to use the aromatherapy bar as a vessel to communicate and show the all-natural products people can use for medicinal purposes, stress relief, and to detoxify their home.”

Ward will incorporate aromatherapy into a person’s health and stress level. “It’s multi-tiered,” she said. “There are massage oils, room spray, non-toxic cleaning products, and eventually I’d like to start classes on how to detoxify your home and body work. It’s all about knowledge.”

Ward has created an assessment form along with a medicinal and home care product line that’s nontoxic and hormone balancing.

“I’m going to start with three phases including the aromatherapy bar,” she said. “People can come in and make their own personalized products.”

A full-time home care nurse, Ward will operate Dragonfly on Saturdays and by appointment by calling 920-883-7494 or

Wash. Co. to kick in $85,000 for new main stage at Fair Park

West Bend Mutual Insurance Company has offered Washington County a generous donation for the construction of a permanent stage at the Washington County Fair Park.

This week the county accepted the donation and agreed to move forward with the project development. “West Bend Mutual will be providing for the project over $500,000 for the project,” said Washington County Administrator Joshua Schoemann.

There are a couple aspects the county will have to cover in a cooperative agreement including kicking in $85,000 for preliminary site work, architectural engineering and professional services for the Fair Park stage project.

The county will also have to cover the relocation of some electrical and work to relocate the tractor pull area to a more suitable location on the grounds. Renegotiation is also taking place between the county and the Agricultural and Industrial Society on the lease and operating agreement. A design for the new stage is still underway. The full county board will vote on the resolution at its Dec. 8 meeting.

Kettle Moraine Sport Riders absent from WB Christmas Parade

Don’t look for the Kettle Moraine Sport Riders in Sunday’s West Bend Christmas Parade as the group is bowing out this year. This is the second time in the past five years the Sport Riders will not participate; time and a shortage of volunteers are to blame.

In 2010 the Sport Riders took a year off – they returned the next year with gusto. The Kettle Moraine Sport Riders are a parade favorite. The group is a mix of local business owners, farmers and cycling enthusiasts. They normally create one of the most interesting entries in the parade.

In 2005, the Sport Riders were credited with saving Santa, whose sleigh float got a flat tire. Parade organizers scrambled and the Sport Riders stepped up, quickly slicing a hole into their sleigh and squeezing Santa into a spot next to the amplifier.

That year the Sport Rider’s 70-foot-long float featured a locomotive hauling a toy factory complete with a conveyor loading toys into Santa’s sleigh. The Sport Riders took first place in the adult-non-profit category. Aside from being talented mechanics, the Sport Riders are also procrastinators, typically crafting a float within 24 hours of the start of the parade.

Parade organizer Mike Husar said there will be four bands in this year’s parade including the West Bend High School Marching Band, Northern Ozaukee High School Band, Mayville High School Band, River City Christmas Brass and watch for a final appearance by the St. Mary’s cheerleaders.  The 63rd annual West Bend Christmas Parade steps off at 5 p.m. Sunday from Regner Park.

Radio communications upgrade underway in Washington County 

The Washington County Finance Committee unanimously approved a Radio Communications System Upgrade and 700 MHz Overlay Project to the tune of about $4.85 million. “This is a half-step upgrade for this 10-year system,” said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann.  The countywide radio system has been in operation since 2010 and there have been problems with the system penetrating buildings.

Schoemann said they are trying to work together with Ozaukee County, which has the same digital system. Schoemann said if the radio communication projects are done simultaneously there’s a chance for Washington County to save $150,000. Ozaukee County also contracts with Harris Corporation for a radio system replacement project.

A portion of the resolution reads: Harris Corporation has proposed adding four tower sites that transmit and receive communications on 700 MHz frequencies and all necessary equipment and upgrades including but not limited to network switches, microwave and logging updates and dispatch consoles and upgrades, portable radios for Sheriff personnel for a total cost not to exceed $4.85 million. The resolution goes before the full county board on Dec. 8.

St. John’s Guild cookbooks are in the house!

The latest shipment of St. John’s Guild cookbook, “Our Favorite Recipes” has arrived. The first printing was in 1949 when a committee of nine women, led by Esther Klein and Frieda Lange, collected the best recipes in a cookbook that would be sold at a low price. Proceeds would go to build a new kitchen at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend.

“A majority of recipes were all tried and true,” said Carol Gerner, a member of the cookbook committee since the 1980s and the author of the recipe for cottage cheese rolls. “It was a good project and we got our kitchen.”

The cookbook had a unique style with hand-written recipes supported by the antics of stick-figure cartoons. Many households in the community had a copy of Our Favorite Recipes tucked in the drawer or standing on the kitchen shelf. Reliable recipes included the Mile High Strawberry torte, pumpkin bread, banana bread and peanut butter cookies.

The same lovable cookbook produced in 1949 is back – it’s a little more modern with an upgraded binding. Our Favorite Recipes sells for $15 and is available at Tennies Ace Hardware, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hankerson’s Country Oven Bakery, and All in Books.

Slinger teen receives diabetic alert dog

Moose delivered to teen in Slinger by Judy Steffes: “Moose is here!” It was a cheer heard throughout the household as an English male chocolate Labrador retriever diabetic alert dog was delivered to William Springer of Slinger.

“I just ran down the stairs when I saw him I was so excited,” said Springer. “I had been counting down the days until he’d get here.”

The 17-year-old Springer was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in summer of 2013. On April 25, 2014, he received a severe concussion from a soccer ball to the head and ever since he has not been able to recognize or feel the lows and highs in his blood sugar. The dog will help Springer keep his blood sugar within a normal range.

For several hours Saturday certified trainer Nicole Parayno with Diabetic Alert Dogs of America put Springer and Moose through their paces.

“When he places his paw on you, that means you’re out of your normal sugar target range,” Parayno said. “He’s trained to use his paw for that, but he’s not trained to alert just because. This is only when a scent is present.”

Scent samples were gathered from Springer and used to train the dog the past six months; Moose will turn 1 year old on Thanksgiving. “Just one treat,” instructed Parayno. Moose eagerly took to Springer spending a majority of time at his feet, resting his head on his owner’s leg. “I can’t really feel my sugar lows like I used to so Moose is going to be a big help,” Springer said.

Moose will sleep in the same room as Springer and he’ll accompany him to high school. “Stay,” said Springer holding his palm up as a signal.

In the last few years Diabetic Alert Dogs of America has placed over 400 dogs. “They range anywhere from $7,500 to $15,000,” Parayno said. “We’re actually the cheapest company but we’re paying the trainers and the vets and the travel.”

Moose and Parayno flew in from Las Vegas on Friday. “He enjoyed playing in the snow,” she said. The West Bend Lioness Lion’s Club, along with other area Lion’s Clubs, helped raise money to pay for Moose.

Bikes, Bars, Beer, Santas!

Grab you bicycle and join fellow Santas on Sunday, Nov. 29 for the inaugural West Bend Santa Ramp-Up. The ride starts at Dublin’s (10 a.m.) with stops at Benders (11 a.m.), Moonlighting (12 p.m.), West Bend Tap and Tavern (1 p.m.), and The Norbert (2 p.m.). Meeting at 10 a.m. at Dublin’s and then bicycling south on the Eisenbahn State Trail. Santa or Christmas attire recommended. Organized by Ashley Walker and Dave Renick.

Updates & tidbits

The Washington County Senior Center will have cookies, hot chocolate, popcorn, soup and more at Enchantment in the Park this weekend at Regner Park.

The WB COLUMNS Holiday Pops Concert is Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Lining Arts Center. The annual scholarship concert benefits graduating seniors of West Bend East and West High Schools. Last year, WB COLUMNS awarded $612,050 in scholarships for graduates to continue their education. More information

-The Kewaskum Indians 2015 football season awards will be presented after the Kewaskum Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kewaskum Theatre. Awards will be presented and then transition to the cafeteria for a reception.

-Start the holiday season off with a four-course dinner Dec. 10 at the Top of the Ridge Restaurant at Cedar Ridge followed by Christmas music by Ryan and Celia Meisel. Dinner at 5 p.m. Music: 6:30 p.m. Fee: $20 adult meal $10 kid’s meal. Register at

-National speaker and author Robyn Leigh Dykstra is coming Friday, Dec. 4 to the Women’s Christmas Gala and fundraiser for the Seed of Hope Center, a faith-based crisis pregnancy and counseling center in West Bend and Hartford.  Dykstra will offer an inspirational message through her true-life story about loss and the transforming power of a loving God. The event is 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Bend City Church, 224 Butternut St. Registration is required at

– Trivia Night by the church Work Campers (St. Gabs and St. Boniface) is Dec. 5 starting around 5:45 p.m.  You don’t have to be a parishioner.  There will be food and drinks to purchase and babysitting too!  Register this weekend at

– Sunday, Nov. 29 is the First Sunday of Advent. Here is the beginning of Rev. Nathan Reesman’s message in the St. Frances Cabrini/ St. Mary’s bulletin. Our entrance antiphon for this First Sunday of Advent is worth lingering over just a bit.   It is chosen from Psalm 25:  “To you, I lift up my soul, O my God, In you, I have trusted; let me not be put to shame.  Nor let my enemies exult over me; and let none who hope in you be put to shame.” The antiphons that we have for our celebrations, especially in the high seasons like Advent, often come down to us from ancient days in the Roman liturgy, and they communicate very intentionally the key themes or ideas that the Christian community is to make our own as we move throughout the year.  This Sunday is no exception. For each of the years in our three-year Lectionary cycle, the readings for the First Sunday of Advent center on Christ’s call to vigilance for His grand coming.  Advent always opens with a glimpse of the end of the world as we know it, as the Lord promises that He will usher in an era where His power will be undisputed and His Kingdom will be established in its fullness.

Historic West Bend Theatre

Today’s history photo is courtesy Roger Strack. The movie The Collegiate was released Jan. 22, 1936.10603664_10203382047538026_8959223428968621736_n


1946, 28 November 2015


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