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0934, 10 Dec 16

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Randy Koehler pulls papers for Dist. 4 alderman


There’s been some activity at the clerk’s counter at City Hall in West Bend in connection with the April elections as former Dist. 4 alderman Randy Koehler has pulled papers.

Koehler took out papers Dec. 1. He said it was just for the heck of it. “Not sure if I am running yet, I stopped to wish Amy good luck and grabbed a package just in case,” he said.

Koehler ran for office in 2011. He always maintained a strong conservative stance and said he listened to his constituents. Koehler also was popular with city staff, visiting individual departments and learning how the city worked. Koehler ran for reelection in April 2015 and lost to challenger and current Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins.

As of Thursday, Jenkins and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist had turned in all their necessary paperwork including signatures.

Aldermen in the even-numbered districts in West Bend are up for election and along with the mayor. Aldermen include Dist. 2 Steve Hutchins, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, Dist. 6 Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 Roger Kist.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow has already indicated he’d run for another term in office.

Also, Kevin Aubery has picked up a packet for Dist. 2. So far no other paperwork has been submitted.

Aldermen began circulating papers December 1. They need to collect between 20 – 40 signatures and the mayor needs to collect 200 – 400 signatures, which are due Jan. 3, 2017.

If more than three candidates run for a seat a primary would be held February 2017.

Separation agreement with Washington Co. attorney to be finalized Dec. 13

The agenda has been released for the Dec. 13 Washington County Board meeting and it appears the separation agreement with County Attorney Kim Nass will be finalized during a closed session.

Closed Session: Entertain a motion to convene in Closed Session pursuant to §19.85(1)(c), Wis. Stats., considering employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has jurisdiction or exercises responsibility; specifically, “Discuss the personnel situation and separation agreement of the County Attorney.”

There’s been no public comment regarding the circumstances behind this decision. On Oct. 20, was the first to report on Nass being missing from her office. She has not returned to the county since the story broke.

Diamond Dash participation up 27%

Combine the first light snow of the season with more than 500,000 Christmas lights and throw in 370 runners and walkers and you have a very successful 2nd annual Husar’s Diamond Dash at Regner Park. Sixteen-year-old Luke Guttormson from West Bend West High School ran the 3.1 mile course in 16 minutes and 55 seconds.

Monica Schaefer, 29, of Adell was the first female finisher; she crossed in 21 minutes and 21 seconds.  The top finishers received a watch valued at $500 from Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds. Money raised goes to Enchantment in the Park.            On a side note, the WIAA contacted Husar’s and it had to pull back its prize for Guttormson because it violated rules for a high school athlete participating in state sports.

Germanfest mural is burned

 A news tip came in last week that hit me like a punch in the gut. Someone said the Germanfest painting by Eileen Eckert that hung on the building on Walnut Street had been destroyed.

A simple call to Eckert proved it was true.

“I think they burned it,” said Eckert. “It told them to a couple years ago to get rid of it and it looks like they finally did it.”

The three-panel mural dated to 2007; it was a commemoration to downtown West Bend’s annual Germanfest celebration. The middle panel featured Ernst Frankenberg hoisting a frothy stein of beer.

“I never met Ernst but struck up a kinship with him because of our similar German heritage,” said Eckert who painted Frankenberg from a photo. The mural featured Frankenberg in a traditional green German hat and lederhosen.

“Lu Harder gave me a bunch of photos to help flush out the local German flavor and I picked Ernst because he depicted what I wanted to portray with his connection to Sprecher, beer making and Germanfest,” said Eckert.

“That painting was in such bad shape,” said Eckert. “It wasn’t meant to be outdoors all the time but it was such a monster to put up and take down.”

The painting measured 8-feet high and 12-feet long. “If I ever would do it again I would have made it in three separate panels,” she said. “The bottom was a 2 x 4 and that was just Masonite and it got wet on the bottom and it wicked up.”

Asked whether she was working on something else to replace it, Eckert said no. “Nobody from Habitat for Humanity (the organization that took over Germanfest in 2016) has contacted me,” she said. “I was waiting and if they would want me to do something, winter is when I can do things, but nobody has contacted me.”

Eckert said she asked Germanfest organizers to remove the painting several years ago. She was told “the community loves it.”

“At least my name weathered off so I was less embarrassed by it,” said Eckert.

Herb Tennies, the founder of Germanfest, said storage of the painting also became a problem. The mural hung for years on the south side of the building on Walnut Street that used to be home to Mehring’s Fish Market.

On a history note: Ernst Frankenberg died Jan. 1, 2009 at the Cedar Lake Health Center.

New owners for Coachwork Auto Body on Highway 33.

Mike Held and Jason Lisko are the new owners of Coachwork Auto Body, 5709 State Highway 33, just east of Allenton. The pair took over from Pat and Patricia McIntee who started the business in 1980.

“I actually got my start here with Pat and Pat,” said Held. A graduate of Slinger High School, Held first applied at Coachwork Auto Body in 1999. “They hired me on the spot and I started washing cars,” he said.

Soon thereafter Held rented a space by the County Fairgrounds. “I was so small,” laughed Held. “I did everything that came through the door. The weirdest thing I ever painted was a Christmas ornament for a guy’s yard.”

In 2010 Held’s Auto Body was born. “I grew enough to buy the shop in Hartford,” he said.

Always in touch with the McIntees the conversation soon gravitated to thoughts of retirement and Held taking over. “This ended up working out and it’s a team effort,” he said of his partnership with Lisko.

“I want to continue the foundation set here with the same sound quality and service,” said Held.  “I don’t have a lot of plans to change anything other than upgrade the repair process and get more tech savvy to change; traditional customer relations will stay the same.”

City taxi rates on the rise

The cost of taking a taxi in West Bend is going to go up in a couple of weeks. New ridership rates take effect January 1, 2017.  Fares increase 50 cents for each individual ride and riders will be responsible for the additional cost of 50 cents per ride on all previously-purchased ride coupons after the increase has been implemented.

New rates include: Adults (Age 18-64) are $4.50 and $45 for 10 ride tickets, Youth (Age 5-17)    $3.50 and $35 for 10 ride tickets, Elderly (Age 65 & Older)  $3.50 and $35 for 10 ride tickets,                                   Disabled $3.50 and $35 for 10 ride tickets. Children (Age 4 & under w/adult) are free.

Successful Shop with a Cop in Washington County

Wednesday night in West Bend it was Shop with a Cop at Walmart. The kids came in waves; a Christmas list in hand and an officer on their arm. The uniform of the day was a red Santa hat and a smile… for the kids too.

Shoppers stared. The kids buckled down and took care of business gathering gifts for their parents, siblings and even a dog named ‘Monster.’ The officers took orders well. They offered opinions and a bit of guidance in the makeup aisle, sniffed candle after candle in a section filled with way too many scents; corny hats were the biggest attraction.

Men and women from various Washington County law enforcement wrapped their arms around their evening assignment including Germantown PD, Kewaskum PD, West Bend PD, Jackson PD, Slinger PD, Newburg PD, Hartford PD, and the Washington County Sheriffs.

Arlene Kuehl is a school crossing guard in West Bend and a volunteer wrapper at Shop with a Cop. “This really affects the kids’ lives in such a positive way,” Kuehl said. “Every year it gets better and better and better.”

Back at headquarters, aka West Bend Mutual Prairie Center, the kids and their cohorts received a warm supper and elves volunteered their time in a back room wrapping gifts to make for a better surprise on Christmas day.

Addison from Kewaskum had a 10-star rave review on her experience. “It was amazing and fun and I enjoyed it so much,” she said. “Just trying to figure out what to buy for friends and family for Christmas and then everybody was looking at me.”

Addison, 10, said she wanted to laugh at some of the onlookers because she was in the store with an officer at her side. “I’m sure kids were like ‘What? No fair!’ and I think they were jealous,” she said. “I actually felt bad for them because it would have been enjoyable for them to go too.

“This whole experience actually wasn’t about the gifts but about the time I was able to spend with people who felt joy in helping me.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the kids to see police officers and law enforcement as something other than a negative,” said volunteer Sue McNutt with the Slinger Police Department. “Too often, especially if kids come from a disadvantaged situation, police are seen as a bad thing, so this helps teach them officers are friendly and they’re here to do good.”

Shop with a Cop was run by the Fraternal Order of Police this year; the Kettle Moraine Chapter took over from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Although Lieutenant Matt Rohlinger and organizer Tina Beres were a bit nervous the evening went off without a hitch.

“Matt and Tina really did a great job and they were very organized,” said volunteer Wendy Heather.  “There are 42 kids who are shopping and just really excited.”

Heather said she was also very impressed with how police interacted with the kids. “Everybody looks like they’re having so much fun and it’s a healthy environment for everyone,” she said.

Beres was dressed in Christmas green and red and said she was pleased with all the support from volunteers and area businesses. “A lot of work went into this and it’s very satisfying seeing the smiles on the children’s faces and the officers are happy and enjoying this as much as the kids,” she said. “We want to give back to the community and show the officers just aren’t here to do their job but also to give something in return.”

Beres said they’re looking to grow the event in the future. “This year we add the pajamas and blankets for all the children to take home,” Beres said. “In the coming years we hope to be able to add more children to the program.”

Updates & tidbits

St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton is one of five winners of the Catholic Community Foundation’s $15,000 grant. The grant is being awarded for St. Mary’s proposal to transform its former school playground into an evangelization space and community park.

-The 2017 Tour of America’s Dairyland bicycle race is coming to West Bend. Thanks to generous support the race will be called the Downtown West Bend Concourse presented by Delta Defense. The event is slated for Monday, June 19.

– A West Bend-based company is overseeing development of a new four-story hotel in the Village of Grafton. Developer Kraig Sadownikow of American Construction Services laid out designs for a new 87-room TownePlace Suites. The hotel would be operated by Marriott and located east of I-43.

– A couple of hardy souls braved the cold temps and put up a new sign for Bibinger’s. The restaurant, 3747 Cedar Creek Road, opened this past August in the former Schwai’s. There’s some historical significance to the placement of the sign at Highway 60 and Scenic Road as it’s the location of the former Schwai’s billboard.

-Interviews begin Monday as the Downtown West Bend Association looks to fill its event manager position. Seven people have applied for the job previously held by Kellie Boone.

-In less than 1 year has climbed to the top of the Google search engine as the No. 1 and No. 4 news source in Washington County, Wisconsin.

UW-Washington County’s Moraine Chorus will present a winter concert Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. in the campus theatre.  The chorus is directed by Dr. Peter Gibeau, Professor of Music at the campus. Admission is free although a free-will offering is appreciated.

– Santa will fly into the West Bend Airport again this year but he’s on an earlier flight. Santa will land at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.

-The West Bend Parks Department will fill Regner Park Pond for ice skating this winter. The rink and the warming house are expected to open Dec. 17 at the earliest, once weather permits.

– Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School will present a Christmas choral concert on Saturday, Dec.10 at 7 p.m. in its Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature KML’s Kantorei Choir, Concert Choir, Traveling Choir, and Echoes. The Kantorei Choir is the co-ed freshman choir who participate in multiple concerts throughout the year.

– The Kettle Moraine Ice Center, 2330 S. Main Street in West Bend, has added Public Skate Times for the upcoming holidays. Daily Dec. 26 – Dec. 30 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Memories of Shopping for the holiday in West Bend

It was an era before Mayfair Mall and the Bay Shore Town Center. It was even before the Westfair Mall and the West Bend Outlet Mall which included stores like The Cookie Jar, Knit Pikker Factory Outlet, Uncle Wonderful’s Ice Cream Parlor, and Rainbow Fashions.

“We shopped downtown because there wasn’t anything on Paradise,” said Jerry Wolf. “The city ended by Badger, which was the high school at the time.”

Wolf was about 10 years old in 1945; he recalled there were three grocery stores downtown including a Red Owl at 138 N. Main St., currently home to Ooh La La.

“Jeklin’s Shoes was on the corner of Main and Cedar Streets and just south of that was a hardware store called Gambles and I bought my first bicycle there, I think it was a Hiawatha,” said Wolf.

Cherrie Ziegler Catlin remembered the F.W. Woolworths downtown. “It was a haven for all sorts of trinkets that kept kids busy spending their allowance each week,” she said.

Bonnie Brown Rock remembered Carbon’s IGA grocery on Main Street as well as Naab’s Food & Locker Service. “My parents bought sides of beef which were kept in a freezer at Naab’s store,” said Brown. The business was at 432 S. Main St.

“Dad also went there to get ice cream cake roll on Sundays as our refrigerator didn’t have a freezer,” she said.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller remembered Saturday nights were for shopping in West Bend.
“That was in the late 1930s and early 1940s,” said Miller. “J.C. Penny’s was one of the stops for dry goods and the unique thing about the early Penny’s was the cashier was upstairs in a loft. The clerk would put money in a kind of cup, attach it to a ‘trolley’ affair and pull the handle sending the trolley, cup and money to the cashier who in turn would put the change in the apparatus and send it back.”

Parking, recalled Miller, was a problem. Main Street was originally Highway 45 and shoppers parked parallel to the curb, not at an angle as it is today.

“Tight quarters meant shoppers would double park, that meant side by side,” said Miller. “This caused some problems but was later accepted. I believe there was a time limit as to how long one could double park.”

Other unique downtown shopping standards, according to Miller, were grocery stores did not have aisles and display racks, because the grocer got the items from behind the counter. Almost all transactions were in cash as credit cards were none existent and checks were few.

“On rare occasions after shopping we would pick up my grandpa and go to Sam Moser’s tavern (currently Muggles) for chili, maybe a hamburger and a small glass of beer,” said Miller. “Yes, beer was OK for kids as soda was not good for you.”

During high school, Miller said Dewey’s Drug Store was the popular hangout. “It was known for its cherry Coke and the Colonial Restaurant for hamburgers,” he said.

Brown Rock also remembered Dewey’s. “They had booths and Mr. Dewey didn’t like the kids to get too loud,” she said. “I don’t remember spending much time there however I had many after school hot-fudge sundaes at the Parkette.”

Todd Tennies, of Tennies Ace Hardware, said the impact the memories people have of shopping 50 years ago in downtown West Bend is still a big part of the community today.

“Locally-owned businesses employ people that live in our community and the staff is well trained in product knowledge and customer service,” said Tennies. “Shop Small Saturday is a golden opportunity to be recognized and supported.” Small Business Saturday is Nov 29.

PHOTO: Remember the talking tree? Photo courtesy Tennies Ace Hardware.



0934, 10 December 2016


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