Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0906, 19 Mar 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New West Bend Cinema opens to rave reviews

The new West Bend Cinema, formerly the Paradise Theatre, opened after the first stage of an interior remodel was completed by the new ownership group Boppa LLC. The group, which already owns the property, took over operations Feb. 29, 2016.

Flipping the theatre became a passionate project by local owners who thought the community deserved a cinema that featured multiple screens in a family setting with affordable prices. “Challenged” to find contractors in a limited time frame the new owners decided to tackle the project in segments starting with a good cleaning. “Cleanliness and friendliness is our new motto,” said spokesman Troy Hanson.

For the past week the owners have worked alongside staffers to give the theatre a solid cleaning. “The candy we found buried in the seats was petrified,” said Hanson.

Changes include new bathrooms, carpet, paint, and lighting. “In the coming months new seating will be installed,” said Hanson. “On Monday new outdoor signage was installed.”

Employees got raises and new matching grey polo shirts. The West Bend Cinema is working on a website and Facebook page. More information at

Bridge-gate: Somebody forgot to check the ‘white’ box

It’s a story we told you about first at as contractors worked today to move the new bow truss pedestrian bridge in place over the Milwaukee River.

It appeared the bridge delivered was not exactly what the common council approved as they signed off on a white bridge. Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the contractor made a mistake, it will be white and the contractor has until the end of May to have it all done.

“No joy when someone makes a mistake but it will be corrected,” Sadownikow said.

On a side note: There were some usual suspects hanging out at the scene of bridge-gate on Service Drive – jawing with the contractors. “I know where you can get some white paint – on sale,” said Terry Tennies with Tennies Ace Hardware.

Pipeline issues again in Town of Jackson   

Crews from West Shore Pipe Line Co. have been moving equipment into the Jackson Marsh in the area of Division Road north of Highway 60. Neighbors in the Town of Jackson said this “is the area where they replaced a section of the pipeline that failed in 2012. Tom Isaac with the Department of Natural Resources said repairs are being made to a section regional fuel pipeline. He said contractors described the pipe as degraded, however he said this does not mean it’s cracked or that anything leaked in the marsh. Contractors are quoted in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying the work is “routine maintenance.”

Wisconsin School Music Association district-level Solo Ensemble at WBHS

WBHS Bands and Choirs are hosting the Wisconsin School Music Association district-level Solo Ensemble at WBHS on March 19 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visiting high schools include Beaver Dam, Germantown, Living Word, Cedarburg, Grafton, Webster, Central Wisconsin, and Hartford.  There are 11 performance sites with piano, woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, vocal, and various large ensembles, including jazz ensembles.  “I still have my Solo & Ensemble medals” is a statement regularly heard by WSMA staff from generations of festival participants who take pride in this long-time tradition, which creates memories and skills for life.

Through the solo and ensemble experience, students learn the discipline of rehearsal, are challenged to advance their musical skills, perform in front of an audience and adjudicator, and receive feedback on their performance. Those that perform at the highest level (Class A) at a WSMA District Festival have the opportunity to receive a 1* (one-star) rating which advances them on to State Solo & Ensemble Festival, which is at Cardinal Stritch University on May 7.

The five primary goals of the WSMA Solo Ensemble festivals are:  Improve students’ music performance; Increase students’ understanding of music literature and music concepts; Motivate students to continue their study of music; Establish standards of excellence in music performance and provide opportunities for students to understand the relationship of music experiences to other life experiences.  The festival is free, and open to the public.

Herb Kohl Foundation award winner

A note of congratulations to West Bend High School special education teacher Jen Mesko who is receiving the 2016 Herb Kohl Education Fellowship Award.

The award recognizes teachers in Wisconsin who inspire their students. “Jen is an astute professional,” said Badger School principal Dave Uelmen. “She always goes above and well beyond for staff and students.  Her work with the at-risk population at the high school has been amazing.”

Mesko has been a teacher in the West Bend School District more than a dozen years. She is a former Rolfs Award Winner in 2011 – 2012.

The Kohl Foundation Award recognizes teachers in Wisconsin who inspire their students Uelmen said that fits Mesko to a “T.”

“She puts together gift drives for students in need every Christmas,” he said.  “Her ability to de-escalate situations and students in immediate need is second to none.  There have been numerous times she has remained at school well beyond building hours to help students and staff.”

This year for the 25th anniversary of the educational foundation, Herb Kohl tripled the amount of each scholarship, fellowship and school grant to $3,000.

Previous winners in the West Bend School District include Silverbrook Middle School teachers Brian Chesick and Jacquelyn Drover and West Bend East High School teacher Richard Prost.

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established for former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl in 1990.

Penny Wars at St. Frances Cabrini

Students at St. Frances Cabrini raised $966.90 in its recent Penny War. The event is held during Lent as part of a message from Pope Francis who asked us to “give of ourselves to help make others’ lives better.”

“The money raised will be presented to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society,” said Principal Aaron Hilts. “I am very proud of our students’ efforts and it was a fun way for us to help others this Lenten season.”

For this penny war the grouping of the 8th,3rd and 2nd grades finished first. Grades 7,4 and 1 finished second and third place went to the team of 6th, 5th and kindergarten.  The winning group will get a pizza party.

Write-in candidates in Wash. Co. for April 5 election

There are a couple of write-in candidates for this year’s Washington County Board race. Denis Kelling is a registered write-in candidate for Washington County Supervisor in District 6 and Andy David is a registered write-in candidate for Washington County Supervisor in District 3.  Whoever receives the highest number of votes will be the winner.  There is no minimum requirement for the number of votes to secure the seat.

Updates and Tidbits

In-person absentee voting for the April 5 election gets underway Monday, March 21 at City Halls in Slinger, Kewaskum, Hartford, Jackson and the rest of Washington County. On another note, City Hall in West Bend is closed Good Friday, March 25.

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County will host a School Board Forum on Wednesday, March 23 at 7 p.m. at the West Bend Moose Lodge. If audience members would like to have questions asked please email them to forum moderator Chris Jenkins at

-Rummage sale today at the Washington County Senior Center, 401 E. Washington Street from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.   There will be no prices on items; people will pay what they believe is a fair price.   We had wonderful firefighters stop by and carry the tons of rummage from our lower level to the upper level in about 10 minutes. Would have taken us all day – and we would have died doing it!

-Individuals, businesses, and organizations can dispose of unused and broken electronic items in an environmentally responsible way at KML’s annual Community Electronics Recycling Event THIS SATURDAY, March 19, from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. More information at

-Neighbors in West Bend and Washington County are going to have the best teeth ever as construction of a dental office is underway. The office of Dr. Kunick is being built on E. Washington Street, adjacent to Wingate Street and Trenton Road, which is over by the Klotz’s Piggly Wiggly.

-Students from St. Mary’s School in Barton will perform the last passion play on March 20 at 6 p.m. in the church. The tradition of the passion play is 30 years old.

– Teeing it Up for the Arts golf fundraiser is June 27 at WBCC. For $150 you will receive: 18 holes of golf at WBCC, a cart, lunch, apps after golf with a cash bar, and a seat in the brand new Silver Lining Arts Center at the WBHS. Thanks to generous partners Rick Parks, Tammy Clark at the Principal Financial Group, Ansay and Associates and West Bend the first 90+ players fees will go 100 percent to benefit the high school auditorium.

– All in Books, 136 N. Main Street in West Bend, is hosting its annual Customer Appreciation Easter Egg Hunt. Plastic eggs for children will be hidden throughout the store and parents will have special eggs in a basket on the counter. Eggs for children will have free books, candy, toys, and more and one special egg will have a $10 gift certificate to spend on used books of their choice. The eggs for adults will contain a discount coupon a chance to win a $25 gift certificate. Find more details at

– Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School math teacher, Mr. Tim Kuehl, was awarded an Influential Educator Award from the School of Education at UW-Platteville. Recipients of the award were nominated by former students because of the influence they had on the student in pursuing a career in education.

Exceptional Friend or Family Caregiver Award winner

Wonderful evening at the Great Minds Gala presented by Integrace and Leading Age. The event was held Monday evening at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington D.C.

I was presented with the Exceptional Friend or Family Caregiver Award for my bicycling tours to raise money and awareness for memory care activities at Cedar Community. A huge thanks to Tracey Stroeh for the nomination.

I was able to meet with Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Halperin, the winner of the Senator William and Ellen Proxmire Award. An Excellence in Dementia Care Award was presented to Phoebe Ministries.

The evening was fantastic, like an Academy Award show.

There was opening entertainment from the Saint Augustine Gospel Choir (click on the link to hear them sing) followed by presentations, videos and a dinner of filet Mignon, roasted tomato bordelaise, pan seared day boat scallops, and lemon pepper coulis with broccolini and julienne vegetable. Followed by a sweet trio dessert of black & white mousse square, strawberry swirl cheesecake and chocolate cherry tart.

Some tidbits from behind the scenes:

-During rehearsal the event coordinator, Sharon Sullivan, kept mentioning ‘the band.’  “You’ll take the stage after ‘the band,’” she said. I knew this was a high-end event so, being the reporter I had to ask. “Is One Direction going to be here tonight?”  “How about the Fu Fighters… were the Fu Fighters the band she was referring to?” There was quite a bit of secrecy surrounding the evening and I was approaching it like a Nancy Drew mystery with a Rolling Stone twist.

-We were offered to put our acceptance speech on a teleprompter. I passed and figured I’d wing it.  I did awesome! …. everybody said so.

-Some scuttlebutt at the ceremony indicated the award winners this year would be presenters at next year’s Gala. WOOT WOOT!  A return trip to D.C. What an honor to be a part of this function to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s.

-I totally pulled a R. Douglas Ziegler and approached as many people as possible to see if they would sponsor this year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour. I asked permission from the organizers and the reps from Cedar Community, just to make sure I wasn’t out of line. Hopefully I’ll have great success and kick the fundraiser past the six-figure mark this year!

-The award is crystal and on display at Cedar Ridge upon my return.

-I did have some concerns about the lighting on stage… especially if you could see through my dress. I felt very Beyonce  but figured I was in Washington D.C. and this was not even close to D.C. scandal.

-The next bicycle tour takes off June 22 for New Mexico. I will pedal to Shiprock and then back to Wisconsin. More information can be found at

Remembering Dave Wolf

A memorial service was held this past week for Dave Wolf who died March 11 at the age of 73.

Reverend Doug Leonhardt, a Jesuit priest, oversaw the service. “Dave had a sparkle in his eyes and ideas up his sleeve,” he said. “Dave thrived on bringing joy to others. He was a man of few words and made a lasting impression on the community.”

Wolf’s sister Mary Henke provided the eulogy and remembered her brother as the man who purchased Dick’s Pizza which had a 25 cent sundae bar and unlimited toppings. “He mentored hundreds of employees, enjoyed his grandchildren and gadgets he found for sale on TV including the perfect egg cooker, a stump fiddle and the inflatable leg stimulator.”

Wolf was involved in many community and civic groups, including Treasurer of the WB Jaycees, Charter Board Member of the Kettle Moraine YMCA, President of the West Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, Drive Chairman and President of United Way of Washington County, Board Member of the West Bend American Red Cross, West Bend Columns Organization, and West Bend Chamber of Commerce, three time big brother with the Big Brothers/Sisters of Washington County, and most recently Treasurer of the West Bend Gridiron Club.

Dave and Mary were also responsible for bringing the West Bend Christmas Parade back to the community and Dave served as Sponsor and Chairman for several years. Additionally he had an ongoing role in both the West Bend 4th of July Parade and the West Bend Memorial Day Parade.

Today’s history photo features several pictures from the Dave Wolf service courtesy the Wolf family.IMG_3406IMG_3403


0906, 19 March 2016


Pin It on Pinterest