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2059, 26 Nov 17

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New location for Amity Nativity and then tragedy strikes

Two years in a row and volunteers lucked out and found a pleasant late-November day to put up the old Amity Rolfs nativity.

The pieces were handmade in Germany and originally brought to the community in the late 1960s on special order by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs.

For years the nativity was displayed on Highway 33 on the front lawn of the Amity Outlet. In 2007 the nativity was donated to the Downtown West Bend Association and on Monday morning four volunteers spent time delicately putting the pieces in place at their new home under the gazebo in Old Settler’s Park on N. Main Street.

The Downtown West Bend Association is renting the park for the Christmas season. Along with the nativity there are white, swirly Christmas trees that look straight out of a Dr. Seuss story. The park will also be the focal point for entertainment during the upcoming Winter on Main events on Friday in December.

As is tradition, the volunteers hoisted a toast of Guinness to former West Bend Alderman Tom O’Meara who spent years setting up the nativity.

A big thanks to several local businesses that helped make the nativity possible including West Bend Elevator, Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm and Stein’s Garden & Gifts. The nativity was looking fantastic and then the wind whisked through overnight and upended one of the wise men, knocking off not only the crown… but his whole head.

After some reactionary mourning a trip was made to the Museum of Wisconsin Art and it appears the wonderful Gus Peter will be coming to the rescue. Watch for a mended wise man to rejoin his crew in the coming weeks.

Repairs to be made at railroad crossing on Hwy 60 in Jackson

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is working with Canadian National Railway to have a new rail crossing installed across WIS 60, (Main Street) just east of Center Street, in the Village of Jackson in Washington County. In addition to the new crossing, crews will also improve the approach pavement on the roadway.

To perform this work, crews require a 48-hour full closure to be in effect from Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 a.m., until Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 a.m.  Please note this work is weather dependent and subject to change. The crossing on Highway 60, especially if a motorist is eastbound, is rather dicey. There’s a pretty significant gap right before the track. Some motorists have been known to swing far to the right … almost to the sidewalk.

If you recall in March 2016, neighbors in Allenton experienced a similar situation that took nearly a year to resolve. Detours will be posted using County Highway G, County Highway NN and County Highway P to direct motorists around the closure.

 New accounting firm opens in Jackson

A new accounting firm with a couple familiar faces has opened in Jackson.  Schensema CPA, Inc. combines the accounting expertise of Adam Schensema, 42, and his wife Michelle, 41.

The pair have nearly 40 years of combined accounting experience and they are growing their new business off Highway 60 with solid standards of trust and accountability.

“It’s the trusted relationships and the personal service,” said Michelle. “We’re very timely and prompt in getting back to people and we realize we’re working on sensitive information and they want to know it’s confidential.”

Schensema CPA caters to small businesses and offers the full gamut of tax accounting including payroll, tax planning, and advising clients by helping them plan properly for retirement and the future.

“If it’s a $275 personal return or a $10,000 business client – we value them equally and we have a great relationship with all of them,” Michelle said.

The Schensemas’ graduated from Marian University of Wisconsin in Fond du Lac. Michelle attended West Bend East High School. “The year 2018 marks my 20th year as an accountant,” she said Michelle.

Adam is originally from Canada. “I actually came to the Fond du Lac area to extend my hockey career,” he said. “Now I run the adult leagues at the Kettle Moraine Ice Center. I think it’s a hidden gem in Washington County.”

The Schensemas’ have three children; their oldest is a junior at West Bend East High School and two children are at St. Frances Cabrini.

Schensema CPA, Inc. opened the end of October at W227 N16867 Tillie Lake Court, Suite 101. (It’s the big three-story building to the northeast of Subway).

“This location in Jackson is really centrally located for us because we have clients in Washington, Ozaukee, Milwaukee County and elsewhere,” said Michelle. “The size of the building also gives us room to grow.”

“We’ve worked with a lot of our clients for a long time so we have a good, solid foundation,” said Adam.

In a letter to clients the couple wrote: It has been our honor to build a trusted relationship with you over the years. We look forward to continuing that relationship as we work to meet your future accounting, tax, payroll, planning, and advisory service needs.  We remain dedicated to providing you with the personal, high-quality service you’ve come to expect with us.

We will be in contact shortly to discuss your immediate needs and a smooth transition, but please don’t hesitate to call if you have questions now. We invite you to stop by the new Schensema CPA, Inc. office. We look forward to working with you soon.

 Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing makes donation to breast cancer research

Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing in West Bend, along with 131 independent auto repair shops across 35 states spent the month of October raising funds for a breast cancer vaccine as part of the Brakes for Breast fundraiser.

Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing raised $2,535.13. One hundred percent was donated directly to research.

With this fundraiser, auto repair facilities give away free brake pads or shoes. This year the brake pads were provided by Advanced Auto Parts in West Bend. This means the customer simply paid the labor and any other necessary parts to complete the brake job. Additionally, the shop donated 10 percent of the brake job to the Clinic. The money raised goes directly to Dr. Vincent Tuohy and the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund.

Without the continued support from customers, their recent fundraisers like Brakes for Breasts and Back to School with the Boys and Girls Club of Washington County would never have been as successful. Bob’s Main Street Auto and Towing’s current campaign is to collect toys and raise money to go toward the Family Promise of Washington County’s Christmas Event.

This event will help give local, needy children in the area the Christmas they deserve. With a donation, in return, the shop is giving a free tire rotation or a set of free wiper blades (max $32 value) with any service. If you are looking to donate toys or help contribute feel free to stop by either of their locations or give them a call at 262-338-3670.

 Snowmobile safety course is at Riverside Park

  Attention snowmobilers if you are 12 years old or born after January 1, 1985 it is required to have a snowmobile safety course. There is one in West Bend at Riverside Park, 700 Kilbourn Avenue on Nov. 28, 29, 30 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. You must attend all three nights. The cost is $10 per student and sign up by contacting Pat Groth at (414) 517-1594. More information can be found on the Wisconsin DNR website.

 Cards for Veterans at West Bend Memorial Library

The American Legion Post 36 of West Bend will again sponsor the “Cards for Veterans” program at the West Bend Memorial Library. From now through Friday, Dec. 15, patrons visiting the library will find a display of Christmas and holiday cards. All are encouraged to select a card, write a message to a veteran, and place the sealed cards in the box provided.  There is no cost for this service. On Dec. 15, the cards will be distributed to veterans living in the West Bend area. Donations of cards would be greatly appreciated.

Five candidates in the mix to fill Assembly District 58

Five candidates will vie to fill the vacant seat in the 58th Assembly District. Republican candidates include (in order of filing) Steve Stanek, Tiffany Koehler, Spencer Zimmerman, and this week Washington County Board Chairman and Village of Slinger Trustee Rick Gundrum threw his hat in the mix. Dennis Degenhardt is running as a Democrat. A socialist candidate was denied by the Wisconsin Election Commission for not filing the appropriate paperwork on deadline.  Gov. Walker set a primary for Dec. 19, 2017. The Special Election will be held Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. The 58th Assembly District includes the communities of Slinger, Jackson, Town of Polk, parts of Richfield, Town of Trenton and West Bend. The seat in the 58th became vacant following the unexpected death of Rep. Bob Gannon. His term expires January 7, 2019.

Post Office in Hartford celebrates new lobby hours

Community leaders in Hartford held an intimate gathering Tuesday morning at the Hartford Post Office to celebrate a new era in efficiency. The post office, 45 E. Wisconsin Street, will now have its lobby open 24-7. Access to postal blue collection boxes remains the same. Retail hours at the facility are currently from Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Post Office Boxes are as secure as mailboxes but provide more flexibility for mail pickup,” said Postmaster Diane Jones. “The convenience of earlier mail delivery is helpful to small business owners. Post Office Boxes provide home-based businesses with the ability to separate business and personal mail.”

Update & tidbits

A special commemoration will be presented to the local VFW program on Thursday, Nov. 30. Across this state, a number of Burger King Restaurants raised money for a VFW program called ‘Unmet Needs.’  Collectively in the 2016 campaign, the franchise raised over $71,000 for that program.  The Burger King in West Bend also participated and a plaque will be presented this week at 8:30 a.m.             

Charles O’Meara and Rev. Eric Kirkegaard were recently elected to the Cedar Community Board of Directors.

– Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend is open. The annual light show collects money and food donations for food pantries across Washington County and Menomonee Falls. Husar’s Diamond Dash is Sunday, Dec. 3.

-The Kettle Moraine Ice Center is hosting Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 18 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 and include all-you-can-eat pancakes plus a public skate voucher for the 2017-18 season. Children 3 years old and younger eat free.  There will be photos with Santa and letters to Santa will be collected.

-Help is available to families in Washington County that need assistance with winter heating bills. Contact Kay Lucas with the Washington County Human Services Department which oversees the Energy Assistance Program. The number is 262-335-4677.

– There will be a traditional tree lighting Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Berndt Park in Hartford and the much loved Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours are set for Saturday, Dec. 9.

-Winter on Main in downtown West Bend starts Friday, Dec. 1 in the Downtown West Bend business district Shop local DIVA businesses, dine at your favorite restaurant and explore Historic Downtown West Bend. Winter on Main is the first four Fridays in December from 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

-Washington County Humane Society Festival of Trees is Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Washington County Humane Society, 3650 State Road 60 in Slinger. Walk though an enchanted forest of Christmas trees decorated by area businesses. Time is 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Adults are $7 and adults over 60 and children under 12 are $5

-Breakfast with Santa presented by the Slinger-Allenton Rotary is Saturday, Dec 2 from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Slinger High School cafeteria. There will be face painting, stories with Mrs. Claus, Carolers at 10am, and pictures with Santa. The cost is $5 and children 5 and under are free

-The Kettle Moraine EAA Chapter 1158 Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, Dec. 9 at West Bend Municipal Airport, 310 Aerial Drive. Come have breakfast and watch Santa arrive in a helicopter. Breakfast is 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.  No cost to see Santa. $6 per person for breakfast, children under 4 eat free.

-The Annual Hartford Historical Home Tours is Saturday, Dec. 9 from noon – 3 p.m. Four Historical Homes featured including: George Kissel Home – 215 E. Sumner Street, Charles Uber Home – 505 E. Sumner Street, Louis Kissel Home – 407 East Sumner Street and Adolph Laubenstein Home – 203 Church Street. $15 per person and tickets available through The Schauer Arts Center

– West Bend Police Honor Guard were on hand to post the colors at the swearing in of the Honorable Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler on Tuesday, November 21, 2017.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

Memories of Shopping for Christmas 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. Jeklin’s Shoes was on the corner of Main and Cedar Streets and just south of that was a hardware store called Gambles.

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 nonexistent 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.

Connie Willer said, “I loved growing up in West Bend! My favorite Christmas memories have to be the Nativity in front of Amity and midnight Mass at St. Mary’s. Mr. Class would play “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear” on the marimba; it was unforgettable.”


2059, 26 November 2017


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