Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Grasshopper Restaurant in West Bend has closed…. “permanently”

There’s a note on the front door of Grasshopper Restaurant in downtown West Bend announcing the business is “permanently closed.” A laminated note hung on the door at 241 N. Main Street:

Grasshopper is permanently closed.  Thank you for your devoted patronage over the years. I have enjoyed creating and maintaining a place where quality of food has never wavered. My passion in both food and teaching are about to come together as I embark on a brand new adventure. I hope to bring you knowledge and the joy of making delicious and healthy eats for family and friends. My Dad always told me that if you love what you do and do what you love you will never work a day in your life. I believe this to be true and I wish the same for you. Follow your passion and embrace great changes in this brand New Year!!!

Stefanie Ulma, owner of Grasshopper Restaurant, 241 N. Main St., purchased the building with her father Al Ulma in June 2009.

An article in Comings & Goings, a publication designed to promote the Downtown West Bend Business District, read: Al Ulma and his daughter Stefanie are the new owners of the building on the southeast corner of Main and Cedar Streets. The Ulma’s are planning a facelift for the shops 237, 241 and 243 N. Main Street. The Ulma’s have also been approved for a Combination Class B liquor license however they’ve yet to disclose what business they’ll open. The license was taken out under the name Grasshopper & Café.

Grasshopper opened in March 2010. It started as a cozy place to get high-quality food for breakfast and lunch in an atmosphere that was uber trendy with an old school Audrey Hepburn/Frank Sinatra flare. Since then it’s grown and morphed to a relaxed indoor library setting with a long bar yet the excellent food remains.

“I’m excited to do something else for West Bend that’s different than just this restaurant,” said Ulma. “One thing that will stay the same will be delivering to the customer the best of the best. It’s never been about the money it’s been about giving a great product to the people.”

Historic West Bend Theatre sign removed

You could reach out the window from the projector loft overlooking N. Main Street and come eye-to-eye with the crew from Poblocki Sign Company as it worked in the rain Thursday to remove the sign from the Historic West Bend Theatre.

The crew was in town just after 7 a.m. setting up to take down the iconic sign which weighed about 2,000 pounds. Orange sparks flew as the team from Poblocki Sign used a rotary power saw to cut the braces holding the sign to the I-beam.

Four cuts later, tethered to the crane above, it sounded like a gong as the sign broke free from its metal support. A little hand wiggle from the crew and the mammoth West Bend Theatre sign was lifted off its frame.

Once airborne the mighty crane moved the sign away from the canopy and the crew below readied it for placement on the flatbed trailer.

Crew chief Karl Haase said the process “went rather well considering the sign is over 70-years old.”

While the crew in bucket lifts worked to cut the sign from its base they were careful to not damage the tree branches nearby.

“The most challenging part was laying it down on the truck,” said Haase. “We’ve worked on larger pieces but this one is odd because it’s so old and with rust there was just an element of the unknown.”

Haase said the “I-beam is not in the greatest shape and we’re going to have to address that problem.”

“It went pretty good… nothing drastic happened,” he said.

Over the next few months the sign will be refurbished and then returned to the side of the building later this summer. During the sign removal, the Historic West Bend Theatre Group received a nice $25,000 donation from the West Bend Rotary Club.

Washington County’s first human resources director has died

Washington County’s first human resources director has died. Moschea died Friday night, Dec. 21.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Herb Tennies said Moschea’s brother called him with the news. “Gary was a great guy and well liked,” said Tennies. “He dealt with most of the county employees and he had a good relationship with people. He was a good county employee and he was fair with the unions and the labor force. Though out the state he was well known and he was part of state associations.”

Tennies said Moschea was a great friend. “He always wrote me a letter after every election to congratulate me,” he said.

Moschea was the human resources director for 35 years in Washington County. He retired April 2007. Former Washington County Fair executive director Sandy Lang said Moschea is the one who originally hired her. “Back in the olden days when the personnel office was two people, Gary and Mary Heltemes, and we were in the little office in Annex II,” said Lang. “I got along with them very well over all the years.”

District 17 Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten worked as county clerk when Moschea was in personnel. “Gary was very thorough in what he did,” said Merten. “He knew his job. If anyone went to him with a question you got an answer. He was a valued employee.”

Merten said Moschea was a fixture at the Kiwanis Steak Fry.

Former County Board Chairman Ken Miller remembered Moschea. “I worked with him for a number of years,” said Miller. “He was always receptive to my thoughts and he did a good job in the H.R. Department. He was a very likable person. As usual there were always differences of opinion but those were always resolved.” Moschea was 77 years old.

A Liturgy of The Word Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 at St. Frances Cabrini Church (1025 S 7th Ave. West Bend) with Rev. Nathan Reesman presiding.

Rev. Heppe blesses Rolfs Nativity

It is the third Sunday of Advent and on Saturday night Rev. Pat Heppe, dressed in purple vestments, took a moment to bless the Rolfs Nativity on Eighth Avenue.

At the end of 4 p.m. Mass Rev. Heppe talked a bit about some national attention being drawn to West Bend and the Rolfs Nativity. “Last week a reporter from the New York Times was here,” he said. “He interviewed folks at the Downtown West Bend Association and came over here to Holy Angels because he heard about the nativity that was vandalized last year.”

Rev. Heppe went through a brief retelling of how the nativity stood for years in front of the Amity building and in 2017 was in Old Settlers’ Park in downtown West Bend where the baby Jesus figure was stolen.

Parishioner Terry Vrana got a hold of the remnants of the figure and carved a new head for the baby Jesus and reattached the hands. On Saturday, in front of about two dozen parish members, Rev. Heppe gave a blessing and Vrana placed the baby Jesus in the crèche.

“The practice of erecting such mangers was a practice begun by Saint Francis of Assisi as a means to set forth the message of Christmas,” said Heppe. “When we look upon these figures, especially these historic figures, the Christmas Gospel comes alive and we are moved to rejoice in the mysteries in the incarnation of the Son of God.”

As the church bell tolled sharp in the cold, dark, night Rev. Heppe blessed the nativity with holy water.

Slinger School Board candidates file paperwork                 By Samantha Sali

Three seats on the Slinger School Board are up for election April 2, 2019. The three incumbents whose seats are up are Gary Feltz (Treasurer), Joe Havey (Member), and Roman Weninger (Member). Wendy Michalski, Slinger School District Secretary, said all three incumbents have filed candidacy. The new term starts April 22, 2019 and will last three years (April 2022).

A Campaign Registration Statement and Declaration of Candidacy must be filed by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in the Slinger School District’s Clerk Office (207 Polk Street, Slinger.

Two seats up for election on Hartford School Board               By Samantha Sali

Two seats are up for election on the Hartford Union High School’s (HUHS) Board of Education Election. The terms are up are Craig Westfall (Deputy Clerk/Treasurer) and Bill Savage (Clerk)

The new term starts April 22, 2019 and will last three years (April 2022). A Campaign Registration Statement and Declaration of Candidacy needs to be filed by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in the Superintendent’s office (805 Cedar Street, Hartford, WI)

Two candidates file to run for West Bend School Board

Two candidates have now filed papers to run for two open seats on the West Bend School Board as two incumbents have filed non-candidacy papers.

According to Deb Roensch from the Education Service Center said incumbents Ken Schmidt and Tiffany Larson have both filed non-candidacy papers. The pair were elected to the West Bend School Board in April 2016.

On Friday, Dec. 21, Paul Fischer, an elder at Kettlebrook Church, filed candidacy papers. On Dec. 23, Erin Dove, posted an announcement on social media about her intentions to run. A portion of her announcement is below.

My husband and I settled in Jackson in 2002 and are raising our three daughters here. Our oldest is a sophomore at West Bend West High School and we have twins in 8th grade at Badger Middle School. When they were younger, I spent a lot of time volunteering in different capacities at Jackson Elementary School. I’ve been an advocate for their education and am l looking to the prospect of helping shape the educational environment for other children.

Interested individuals are required to file a Declaration of Candidacy form and a Campaign Registration statement. These completed forms can be dropped off at the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend (across from Badger Middle School).

The deadline to file papers to run for School Board is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.  Declaration of Candidacy form and a Campaign Registration statement must be completed and can be dropped off at the Education Service Center, 735 S. Main Street, West Bend (across from Badger Middle School).

To all qualified electors of West Bend Joint School District No. 1: A school board election will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 to fill two at-large seats on the West Bend School Board, each with an expiration date of April 2022.

Please note ESC offices will be closed Dec.  31 and Jan. 1. If you have any questions, please call 262-335-5435.

West Bend nativity featured in article in N.Y. Times

West Bend and the Rolfs nativity were featured recently in an article in the New York Times. Reporter Mitch Smith was in town Dec. 20 and met with Rev. Pat Heppe at Holy Angels, Rick Takacs at Meadowbrook Market and the Downtown West Bend Association.

The focus of the article was about vandalism and steps various communities are taking to keep their nativities safe. Below is a portion of the article.

In West Bend, Wis., north of Milwaukee, a baby Jesus figurine was stolen twice last year. After the first theft, the statue’s torso was found nearby, but the rest of it was missing. The faithful were outraged, and someone donated a new Jesus doll for the Nativity set, which had been displayed around town for decades.

A few days later, early on Christmas Eve, an alert police officer saw a woman “cradling something” on West Bend’s Main Street. It was the replacement baby Jesus. “I yelled ‘Police, stop,’” the officer wrote in his official report of the incident. Once confronted, the woman dropped the figurine and took off running.

The thefts took a toll in West Bend, a city of about 30,000 residents, where churches are central to public life and longtime residents recall admiring the old Nativity set as children.

The article goes on to talk about the security steps being taken to prevent further theft.

Revisiting the great chicken debate in West Bend

The West Bend Common Council will review the issue again of whether to allow neighbors in the community to raise chickens at its first meeting in January 2019. Early leanings against chickens include Dist. 1 alderman John Butschlick, Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester, and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist. Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said he was not in favor but open to listening to suggestions. Those in favor of chickens include Dist. 2 alderman Mike Christian, Dist. 3 Andrew Chevalier, Dist. 4 Chris Jenkins, and Dist. 7 Justice Madl.

Superintendent interviews slated in Hartford Union School District

Two candidates for the Superintendent position will visit Hartford Union High School (HUHS) January 8 and 9, 2019. Names of the two candidates will be released after school has reconvened January 2, 2019.

Community members, parent/guardians, staff and students are invited and encouraged to attend both of the community forums: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center and Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. HUHS Library Media Center. The new Superintendent will be named at the Jan. 28, 2019 Board of Education meeting.

Updates & Tidbits

-This winter season marks the 45th anniversary of the Nabob Prairie Riders Snowmobile Club. Please join the Nabob Prairie riders on Jan. 5, 2019 at the House of Heileman’s on Big Cedar Lake for the annual Winterfest/Fisheree. Fishing is from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., entertainment in the tent includes music, food and drink all available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

-Moonlighting Bar & Grill in Barton has reopened. Eddie Daniel is the new owner.

-Kewaskum High School junior Courtney Zarda two tickets to Super Bowl 53 and the National Fuel Up To Play 60 Program is covering the airfare and hotel and the Wisconsin Dairy Council added $500 spending money. Zarda was awarded the tickets for her leadership in the community through the Fuel Up To Play 60 Program.

– A Memorial Service will be held Monday, Dec. 31 for Howard “Howie” Knox who died Dec. 5, 2018. Knox was a World War II veteran and highly visible in the community. The service will start at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 4860 Arthur Road, in Slinger.

Find local news for free 7 days a week at WashingtonCountyInsider.com

2 Responses to Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

  1. Kevin Scheunemann says:

    …of all the divisive things that can divide a community, why does it have to be chickens?

     

  2. […] I pulled this blurb out of Judy Steffes’ Around the Bend piece. […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.