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0700, 26 Mar 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Pizza Ranch a possibility in West Bend

There’s apparently some truth to the “word” about Pizza Ranch “sniffing around” West Bend.

Pizza Ranch was founded by Adrie Groeneweg in 1981 in Hull, Iowa. There are currently 180+ locations across 13 states including Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois.

In Wisconsin the closest Pizza Ranch to West Bend is in Fond du Lac. There’s also a Pizza Ranch in Oshkosh, Portage, Waupun, Sun Prairie, Sheboygan, Kohler and Appleton.

Pizza Ranch identifies itself as “prides itself on legendary service and quality food. Our unique “Buffet Your Way” means you can request any pizza you want and we’ll not only make it for you, we’ll personally deliver the first slice to you! Now that’s legendary service!”

Taking a look around West Bend and the possible locations for a Pizza Ranch – here’s a brief rundown of availability – which do you think is best?

Meijer is building on S. Main Street just south of Paradise Drive. There will obviously be room for satellite stores. The former Pizza Hut location, 1610 W. Washington Street. The former Walgreens site at the corner of Decorah and S. Main Street.

The former Ponderosa, 2020 W. Washington St., would also be an option. Building owner Steve Kilian confirmed he received a call from Pizza Ranch about a year and a half ago. He said they were looking for a franchisee and after that he never heard from them. Stay tuned!

New business buys Barton building

Kettle Moraine Counseling will be moving into the former Affiliated Clinical building in Barton. “Owner Devona Marshall purchased the building for $300,000 and will be moving in April 15.

“We have been looking and looking for new office space for about a year,” said Marshall. “We wanted to stay downtown but we like Barton and feel it will be a really good spot for us.”

The building, 400 N River Drive, dates to 1986. Years ago it was home to Monarch Studio and most recently it was Affiliated Clinical Services. “It fits us perfectly without hardly any renovations,” Marshall said. “We’ll be adding some lighting, doing a little painting and some new carpet and we’ll be open next month.”

Kettle Moraine Counseling, which features 13 therapists, has been in business six years as of March 1. Kettle Moraine Counseling provides mental health services for children, adults and families; it also has a Spanish speaking counselor on staff.

Kettle Moraine Counseling accepts Badger Care. Marshall said her clients come in from Washington County, Dodge, Ozaukee and some Fond du Lac County.

Sale of green space south of MOWA tabled

The West Bend Finance Committee met in closed session for nearly 40 minutes this week as it discussed the sale of city property, TIF No. 5 and 9. That 1.2-acre parcel to the south of the Museum of Wisconsin Art has been vacant for 10 years. In mid-2015 the city found itself with two offers on the same grassy space within a two-week time span.

One offer was from the Thomas J. Rolfs Foundation, Inc. and the other Bob Bach, Project Manager at P2 Development Company LLC in Saukville. He proposed a $5 million housing development. That housing proposal rankled some folks in the community, especially those that questioned the city’s long-term vision.

Over the past few months there have been some intense discussions regarding finances and how to lay the groundwork for a positive and fun downtown in the future.

Back in August quite a few aldermen threw in their thoughts, arguing mostly to the point of dollars and cents. “Downtown TIF’s are tough to succeed,” District 2 alderman Steve Hutchins said. “They’re hard to develop the increment to make it successful and right now we’re trying to figure out this balancing act.”

Following Monday’s closed session the Finance Committee returned and tabled a decision on the sale until the April 18 meeting. A spokesperson for MOWA said the city wanted all of the paperwork on the table before making a decision.

Sprucing up the façade at former Walgreens

There as a small face lift given this week to the exterior of the former Walgreens at 806 S. Main Street in West Bend. The building has been vacant for more than five years. It closed Sept. 4, 2010 after Walgreens built a new location and moved south down the street, closer to the intersection of Paradise and Main.

Continental Properties owns the building at the corner of Decorah and Main.

Walgreens originally moved in in 1995.  In 2010 the Walgreens district manager Rick Sterna said, the company still had “a five-year lease on that and it will go into our surplus property.”

Sterna said it was their goal not to “let a pharmacy go in there.”

While Walgreens is working to keep out the competition it is worth noting the new Meijer store will have a drive thru pharmacy. The new Meijer will be located a stone’s throw from the newer Walgreens on S. Main Street. Meijer will break ground this spring on the site that used to be home to Bend Industries.

The vacant property on Decorah and Main is currently being marketed by Mid-America Real Estate. It’s listed for lease/sale.

Fate of gazebo tabled

The fate of the gazebo, which formerly made its home at Old Settlers’ Park in West Bend, has been tabled. The gazebo currently sits in the back parking lot of the former Schwai’s in Cedar Creek. Both property and the old park shelter are owned by Kevin and Amy Zimmer.

The couple went before the board of zoning appeals in the Town of Polk this week. Zimmer said action on placement of the gazebo was tabled until “a more accurate survey of the property is presented to the variance board.”

“Hopefully we can get the placement approved at the next town variance meeting,” Kevin Zimmer said.  The couple is hoping to place the gazebo on the Schwai’s restaurant property on Cedar Creek Road.

Blast of winter doesn’t affect crossing guard in shorts

The robins are flitting around the late winter white saying “What are this?” The hearty purple crocus are pushing their faces through the heavy blanket of ice and Chucky Fellenz wife shakes her head as her little boy leaves the house in a fluorescent lime green jacket, hat and shorts.

“I put my pants away three weeks ago,” said Fellenz with confidence. “I just had a lady roll down her window and yell at me. I hollered back ‘I’m not cold.’”

Fellenz has been working the corner of Decorah and Main as a crossing guard in West Bend for more than a dozen years and he’s not gonna let Mother Nature tell him what for.

On Wednesday afternoon school kids ducked their heads as they braced against the pelting rain. Traffic moved slowly as windshield wipers pushed away the heavy, damp snow and Fellenz knew enough to stay 2-feet back from the curb.

“These cars come along and they hit that puddle and the water carries up over in a good slosh,” he said. White chicken legs exposed to the elements, Fellenz gives a sharp blow to his whistle, lifts his stop sign and safely crosses students to the opposite side of Main Street.

He dances back up to the sidewalk, his white tennis shoes soaked. He’s a poster boy for every mother’s winter-wardrobe nightmare.

“My wife bought me a pair of heated gloves,” he said. “I got them on low. My ears may get a little cold, but the rest of me is just fine.”

Updates & tidbits

-There are a couple of write-in candidates for this year’s Washington County Board race. Denis Kelling is a registered write-in for District 6 and Andy David is a registered write-in for District 3.  Whoever receives the highest number of votes will be the winner.

-Wednesday, March 30 at 10 a.m. the West Bend City Clerk will conduct a public test of the electronic voting system. This is being done prior to the April 5 election.

In-person absentee voting for the spring election runs through April 1.  Clerks across Washington County report “a steady turnout.”  Election Day is April 5 and polls open at 7 a.m.

-Holy Angels School is preparing for its 6th annual indoor rummage sale Saturday, April 2 and 3. Donations will be accepted this weekend including gently used, unwanted items:  bikes, tools, home décor, clothing, dishes, books, toys, sporting goods, etc. in the Walnut Room of school.

-On Thursday, March 31 a meteorologist from the National Weather Service will conduct Severe Weather Spotter Training at the Germantown Village Hall, N112W17001 Mequon Rd. in Germantown. The session will begin at 6:30 p.m. and last approximately two hours.

Thrivent Financial will host a Shred Fest on April 30 from 9 a.m. – noon at 810 E. Paradise Drive. Shredding will be done at no cost but participants are encouraged to bring items, necessities that will be shipped to Support the Troops Wisconsin.

-Adam Williquette of Anderson Commercial and Paula Becker from RE/MAX United presented a check for $1,322 to the West Bend Moose Lodge. Williquette and Becker agreed to donate an amount equal to 20 percent of their commissions to the lodge, from the sale of real estate sold or bought by a Moose member or a referral from a member. The first sale, a ranch in Menomonee Falls, was sold by Becker on Feb. 26. Moose members, Wayne and Michelle Lesperance, were the previous owners of the home. “We look forward to being able to give back to an important institution in our community in the hopes the Lodge can use the money for needed repairs and upgrades,” Becker said.

– In Hartford the public works department is starting to reach out to private owners of Ash trees affected with the Emerald Ash Borer as neighbors are urged to work with one another on private tree-removal services to get quantity discounts.

-Mountain Outfitters, 109 S. Main St., in West Bend will host a warehouse sale April 1 – 3 with over 100 used bikes, close out bikes, parts, accessories, clothing and shoes.

Memories of Easter finery

Easter Sunday is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

That day also represents the advent of spring fashion with sweaters instead of heavy coats, anklets instead of knee socks and lighter colors with jubilant patterns.

Since the 1870s women and girls have followed tradition using that Sunday to show off their Easter dresses and neighbors in West Bend have done the same.

Kathy Keehn of West Bend submitted today’s photo; it’s from 1953 when she lived in Maywood, Illinois.

“I am in my Easter hat, coat, white gloves and pail,” said Keehn. “I remember how I couldn’t wear my new white shoes because the weather wasn’t nice.”

Joan Hoff, 79, of Cedar Ridge grew up in Milwaukee and later the Campbellsport area. Years ago she too kept an eye on the forecast as Easter approached.

“I especially remember two weeks before Easter I hoped it would be warm enough so we didn’t have to wear a coat over our new dress,” said Hoff. “It was a big deal if it was going to be raining.”

Hoff remembered her dress was “something fluffy with a full skirt.”

“And we always wore hats to church; kind of a bonnet and as an adult it was a pillbox.

Hoff attended St. Aloysius in West Allis and when she had daughters of her own she got them “spiffed up, especially for Easter Mass.”

“I sewed tons,” said Hoff noting her daughters were far enough apart in age that she never dressed them alike.

“I used whites or pastels; you would never have a red plaid or navy blue.”

Hoff remembered sleeves on the dresses often with a button on the back and a little zipper on the side to pull it over their head.

And her girls always “had white shoes, even though it wasn’t Memorial Day”

“My younger daughter had a purse passed down from her cousin and it was shaped like a little parasol with a curved handle. That was her purse going to church and she loved it,” said Hoff.

Mary ‘Sis’ Eberhart, 64, grew up in Milwaukee and we got her Easter dress at Schuster’s Department Store on 12th and Vliet.

“It’s where we always went shopping,” said Eberhart. “I was 12 at the time and had an Easter hat with little flowers and my dad always bought me good shoes.”

Mary Radovich, 86, from Cedar Ridge remembered the financial woes of the Great Depression and how “when you got something new for Easter you always managed to get a dress.”

“You bought it a Goldman’s where the price was the cheapest,” said Radovich recalling the $1.98 spent on the dress.

At the time Radovich attended church at St. John’s on 9th and Mineral. “The dress was pink with satiny material; I can just see myself,” she sighed.

“You normally bought the dress two sizes bigger than what you really needed because it had to last that long for Sunday church. “I didn’t have a hat or purse – I was just lucky to get a dress,” she said.

While growing up, Radovich and her family struggled financially and were resigned to living on the county dole. “At that time we had only one choice of style shoe and it was made in Waupun – always at the prison,” said Radovich of the black Oxford county-issued shoes.

“Once a friend of mine gave me a pair of sandals; she had worn them out and there was a hole in the sole but she gave them to me and I put cardboard in and then nobody knew I had county shoes,” she laughed recalling how sly she felt in her cobbled shoes.

Barb Justman from BJ & Company recalled wearing a pastel yellow dress with lots of ruffles. “I also had a flowery hat, white gloves, and of course those dandy white leotards,” said Justman whose mom would lay everything out the night before Easter so they would be ready to go for 6 a.m. church service.  “My dress would hang from the living room chandelier so as not to wrinkle,” said Justman. “And I even got to wear the dress ALL day!”

Lori Lynn Radloff remembered the Easter hats with the elastic under the chin. “My brother would pull and snap it. I think everyone goes thru that,” said Lynn Radloff.

Cathy Majkowski of West Bend grew up with four sisters and each had a homemade Easter dress.  “I always worried about getting chocolate from the big candy bunny on my dress,” she said.

Another year Majkowski insisted on a new pair of shoes to go with her dress.  “I did not want hand me downs for Easter; my mom said ‘no’ and I threw a hissy fit in the store, only to find the shoes in my Easter basket in the morning,” she said.

Jill Clare, 80, from Cedar Ridge grew up in West Bend and had five girls. “We were members of Holy Angels and I made all their dresses,” said Clare confirming five handmade dresses each year. “I only used pastels and one year I made them all in a purple gingham check, lavender and white and by the time that passed down I didn’t want to see lavender anymore – nor did the girls,” said Clare.

The style of Clare’s handmade dresses featured little puffed sleeves, Peter Pan collars, with a button by the opening in the back, a full skirt and always a small bow. For accessories, Clare relied on the five and dime Ben Franklin discount stores.“They all had little caps with a bow under their chin, white gloves, and patent leather shoes with anklets and tiny drawstring purses,” she said. “I always made my husband wear a suit because Easter Sunday was a dress up day,” said Clare.



0700, 26 March 2016


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