Boots & Sabers

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0625, 08 Jul 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kiwanis Early Risers Duck Derby winners announced

The winners of the West Bend Early Risers Duck Derby held on July 4 at Regner Park are as follows:

Business Race:
1st Grafton Transit
2nd Technology Techs
3rd Schmidt Funeral Home

Best Dressed:
1st Phillip Funeral Home
2nd Big Brothers Big Sisters
3rd Froedtert Health hometown Pharmacy

Family Race:
1st Robin Konstanz
2nd Mike Kiezer
3rd Paul Gerbard

Best Dressed:
1st Katelyn Taylor
2nd Gail Burkel
3rd Janet Jeziorski

Town of Trenton accident claims life of young Kewaskum man

On Wednesday, July 5 at 5 a.m. the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a single-vehicle accident at the intersection of Indian Lore Road and E. Newark Drive in the Town of Trenton. The caller reported a single vehicle struck a tree and there was an unresponsive person on the ground adjacent to the vehicle. Boltonville Fire Department and Kewaskum Rescue were dispatched to the scene along with deputies from the Sheriff’s Office. When the first sheriff’s deputy arrived, he located the vehicle up against a tree about 45 feet south of the paved portion of the roadway. He also located the unresponsive subject on the ground and determined the subject was deceased.

The evidence at the scene indicated the driver was southbound on Indian Lore Road and failed to negotiate the 90 degree curve where Indian Lore Road turns into Newark Drive; driving off the south shoulder of Newark Drive and striking the tree head-on ejecting the driver of the vehicle, who was the sole occupant.

The operator was 19-year-old village of Kewaskum resident, Ruben Padilla-Castaneda. This is Washington County’s third traffic fatality of the year.

City of Hartford responds to complaints over illegally placed signs

The City of Hartford has begun taking a more direct approach to the growing problem of illegally placed signs within City owned properties or city right-of-way.  Starting last week, city staff started pulling or moving signs which were illegally placed within the right-of-way or on city parkland.  Signs for help wanted, rummage sales, retails sails, services rendered or realtor open houses were removed in an attempt to clean up what had once again become a problem throughout the city.

“This is not the first time we have had to do this, nor is this law unique to Hartford.  Every community has some sort of laws regarding keeping the city right of way free from any distractions, visual blockages, or possible liabilities,” City Administrator Steve Volkert said.  “Every so often, the amount of signs starts to build up as a few place them illegally, then a few more and it just keeps growing.”

The normal procedure whenever an illegal sign is placed in these areas if for the city to take the soft approach of removing the sign and contact the owner to ask them to remove all signs or move them as to not be illegal.  Then after a week, if all illegally placed signs are not removed, the City will fine the owners and remove the signs themselves.  “We truly don’t have time to be patrolling every street for illegally placed signs,” Volkert said, “so we nicely ask that the owners move them.”

Most recently, more and more signs were popping up so the city instructed staff to pull any signs they saw during their normal travels throughout the city.  Many of those signs were either moved in from the curb or removed and taken to the city garage for keeping.

Placing signs of this nature is not illegal as long as they are placed on private property with the property owners consent.  The easiest way to determine where the City right-of-way ends and private property starts is by using the sidewalk or 10 feet in from the back of the curb.  If the sign is placed inside the sidewalk, it’s usually good.

“We want our city to look clean and uncluttered, and would prefer not to have our staff confiscating these signs,” said Volkert.  “If you are going to put up rummage sale or business signs, make sure they are not placed within the city right-of-way.”

The City ordinance does not allow signs close to the curb for safety reasons.  1) Signs can blow off and cause traffic issues and liabilities to cars, 2) signs can block the clear vision of turning vehicles when placed on corners, 3) signs can distract drivers taking their eyes off the road to read.  This law is similar to all other communities throughout the state.

City Hall was receiving several complaints from businesses and residents alike on all the signs illegally placed.  The city plans on continuing to pull signs through the summer whenever they come across any of them to hopefully curtail this issue and help improve the clutter which they were causing.

Asphalt pavement repairs, overlays work to start on Monday in West Bend

West Bend’s sewer utility staff televised the storm sewers located under the Vine Street employee parking lot this week. The city had been hoping to crack-fill, seal-coat and restripe the Vine Street lot at the conclusion of the Mad Max improvements. Mad Max is complete with their work but it appears as though the asphalt, one storm sewer line and one manhole will need to be fully reconstructed. Staff is determining the best long-term fix for this parking lot and the city is reluctant to invest limited funds into failing infrastructure. Cost estimates are being prepared by the engineering department before moving forward. The Department of Public works staff will restripe the parking stalls on the existing asphalt later in 2017.

Centenarian principal passes away but leaves legacy of faith

On July 29, 2017, Sr. Marlena Janis, SSND, the first principal of St. Francis Cabrini School, passed away on June 29, 2017. Cabrini alum Kristin Bayer, writes, “This past summer, I had the opportunity to meet S. Marlena, and visit with her a few times. I found her to be a dynamic, funny, interesting woman, filled with kindness, good stories, and a deep love of God. She shared some memories of her time at Cabrini, and her long career as a School Sister of Notre Dame.

When asked why she became a nun, S. Marlena laughed and said, “It was like going into the family business.” Her family was Catholic. Her church was Catholic. Her school was Catholic. Her neighborhood was Catholic.

Her first teaching job was in Chicago, at St. Alphonsus. Her next placement was as the principal of a brand new Chicago school, St. Helena of the Cross. After nine years, she was sent to West Bend to open another new school, Saint Frances Cabrini.

The school was the first building constructed on our campus. There was no church building, no convent, and no rectory. Although the School Sisters typically lived in a convent on the grounds of the school they served, with no convent that wasn’t possible here at first, so Cabrini’s School Sisters shared the Holy Angels convent, and drove back and forth. S. Marlena smiled as she remembered, “I spent my whole life coming and going. But I enjoyed every minute of it.”

Her students had a great deal of respect for S. Marlena. She was sometimes referred to as the Little General, and indeed, she didn’t put up with much. One student reportedly said he was in the office so much that he spent more time with S. Marlena than he did with his own mother. But more than that, her students loved her, and when they reminisce, they do it with a smile.

Turning 100 seemed to amaze Sister Marlena, and led her to some self-reflection. During one of our visits, she shook her head in bemusement and said, “Just think of it. Every one of my hairs is 100 years old.” On another visit, she said that although she’d enjoyed good health most of her life, once she turned 100, she started to feel “icky.” As time passed, that feeling grew “ickier.” But she saw the blessing in it, saying that finally she had learned to accept whatever God had in store for her. “Poor God,” she said. “He had to wait 100 years for that.”

Updates & tidbits from the road

Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is on the road: This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour is on the road to the Netherlands. Please log onto for updates. Cheers!

-Stopped at a fish market in Volendam. With encouragement from some readers to tell more about some of the foods of the Netherlands, I was set to take the herring challenge; however, eels won out instead.

The fully intact eels were about 15 inches long and had angry faces. The filleted eels looked a bit more manageable … and they had been smoked.

The experience was a bit slimy.  It did  slide easily off the toothpick and there was a definite smokey taste. The consistency was what you would imagine; eels are more chewy and less flaky, with a very recognizable fish flavor.

Let me just be clear, “eels” has a definite aftertaste that’s challenging to get rid of. My dinner was followed by a series of “eels burps.”  Simply not pleasant, but a good reminder of what was for supper.

– The storms that swept through the campsite just south of Amsterdam last night were so fierce they knocked the waterproofing right off my tent. It was actually a series of storms with brilliant lightning followed by violent cracks of thunder and pummeling rain. Sleeping outdoors made you feel part of it as it did when it rained inside the tent, too. Good thing my maps and post cards pulled in a lot of the water.

– Making my way north of Amsterdam and a whole new atmosphere; it’s not as densely populated, there is a lot more agricultural base and more tourism – think, Wisconsin Dells.

– I am never alone on the bike trails. However, my skills are minimal compared to the Dutch. They bike with purpose and enthusiasm – they can also bike with no hands and text at the same time.

– A true cultural treat is the stroopwafel which is made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. No way was there any thought given to eating a whole one. They were the size of a healthy pancake the likes of Breakfast on the Farm.

– Let’s just be clear, if I sat on a broom I’d crush it; there would be no sailing about. But no matter, according to the executive director of the Museum de Heksenwaag, also known as the Witches Museum, in Oudewater.

According to the museum docent and executive director, Jeanette Blake, people from across Europe and beyond flocked to Oudewater to be weighed and given a certificate declaring they were not a witch. It wasn’t the scale in Oudewater that was specifically spot on ….it was a matter of the person manning the scale being honest.

I agreed to be weighed and tested. Blake had to admit, “there was really no way to win.”


0625, 08 July 2017


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