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0810, 04 May 19

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Former UW-WC AD Tom Brigham speaks out about elimination of competitive athletics

The Commissioner of Athletics for the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference George J. Hayes has written a statement of support for competitive athletics at UWM at Washington County and Waukesha County.

It was April 12, 2019 when interim dean Stephen Schmid issued a statement announcing conference athletic programs would be cut at the University in Washington County in 2020-2021.

A portion of his announcement is below.

The current competitive conference athletics program will remain the same for next year. Next fall, we will start planning for the shift to club sports and wellness programs in academic year 2020-2021.

The move to sunset competitive conference athletics at the end of the 2019-20 academic year is driven by several factors. Declining enrollments have resulted in declining segregated fee revenues, leaving less funding for non-athletics student life activities and personnel. For this academic year, athletics segregated fee budgets account for approximately 50 percent of all collected segregated fee revenues at Washington County and more than 30 percent at Waukesha. Second, with the end of the UW Colleges, the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference will be unfunded and effectively terminated next year. Continuing support for this conference will incur additional costs to both campuses. Finally, you may know that our coaches have often struggled in many sports to recruit enough students to form a team. On average over the past three years, Washington County has had 60 student athletes per year, and Waukesha 68, with some sports not running this past year due to lack of interest.

Recognizing decreased revenues from segregated fees, the student governance associations at both Washington County and Waukesha voted to cut funding for athletics in 2019-20 to help address a $110,000 shortfall in student segregated fees for the two campuses. Next year, we will work with the student governance associations to create a 2020-21 plan for club sports and wellness programs that we hope will result in a healthier student population.

Following the announcement, the student council at UWM at Washington County held a meeting where students, faculty and alumni spoke out about the decision, the lack of transparency, and inaccuracy of some of the details in Schmid’s statement.  Schmid attended the meeting.

Former UWM at Washington County Athletic Director Tom Brigham spoke passionately about starting the athletic program at the local university in 1968.

“Nobody even approached me for a conference, even out of decency to ask about what my thoughts were about it,” he said.

“I think this process has gone haywire. According to university policy if a decision is going to be made about SEG fees there should be consultation by the administration with the SEG fee committee to discuss the evidence. I know there’s a deficit of $120,000 in SEG fees between the two campuses. I know you’re going to have reduced enrollment…. the graphs show it. So adjustments have to be made. I know there was no discussion with the athletic directors, Debbie Butschlick (UWM at Washington County) and Adam Ligocki (UW-Waukesha), about what are your ideas. How can you reduce your operating costs to make a viable program and continue with athletics on your campus? That did not happen. The decision was made by Courtney, Steve and Dan – this is our recommendation we are going to cut athletics.

“I don’t know what the steps were, and this was not handled right and Steve you have to agree with that, and you do too Courtney.

“I personally believe that a program can be devised on this campus and on the Waukesha campus a very modest program, but athletics will remain. Right now, sunset it’s dead; no more after next year,” said Brigham. A letter from WCC disputed the fact made by Schmid that the conference “will be terminated next year.”

Dodge Co.  Sheriff making over 100 traffic stops at construction site Hwy 33 and CTH P

Although alternate routes are posted to steer clear of construction of a new roundabout at Highway 33 and County Highway P the Dodge County Sheriff said they’ve been handing out an unbelievable amount of citations for people driving around barricades and through the construction site.

“We’re busy issuing citations,” said Sheriff Dale Schmidt. “We’ve had a lot of traffic stops in the last week and a half.” Construction to build a $1.5 million roundabout began Monday, April 15 at the intersection of Highway 33 and County P in neighboring Dodge County. The Department of Transportation (DOT) said it was needed to improve safety. The money to pay for the project is from the Highway Safety Improvement Program.

“The intersection is closed,” said Schmidt. “You can’t drive through it, period. You can’t drive through it at all …. and people are driving right through it.”

“It’s not a long stretch of road it’s just the intersection. When our signs in front say, ‘Road Closed’ you can’t just go around it,” he said. The citation for Failure to Obey Traffic Signs is $175.30 and three points on your driver’s license. “The second violation within a year is $213,” said Schmidt. The road is expected to open July 3. Schmidt said something needed to be done to improve safety at that intersection.

“We had a lot of crashes there before they put the four-way stop up,” he said. “They put the four-way stop up as a temporary measure knowing they were going to eventually put the roundabout in. The four-way stop definitely worked and I think that will continue once the roundabout is done.”

Volunteers repair fencing at Fireman’s Park in Newburg

Volunteers from D&D Fencing in West Bend worked to replace the fence at the baseball diamond at Newburg Fireman’s Park. The field sustained extensive damage during the spring thaw in March as giant pieces of ice tore through the park when the river breached the shoreline.

This is the third year the park has been damaged during the spring thaw. D&D Fencing said it would cover time and labor if the athletic department pay for the material. Mano Fencing from Racine also stepped in to help repair the fence. About half the fencing was reused. The athletic department is reviewing its options. The park experienced heavy flooding after the DNR removed the dam upstream.

Park admission waived for summer Traveling Beer Garden tour in Washington County

The Washington County Parks Department said it will waive admission to the park during its Traveling Beer Garden this summer. Earlier this month the Washington County Park and Trail System announced a new public-private partnership with Black Husky Brewing from Milwaukee.  Black Husky will host a series of traveling beer gardens throughout Washington County.

One of the questions from neighbors eager to take advantage of the beer garden asked was whether they’d have to get a park pass to attend.

“We are still working to finalize the contract, but we do plan to allow free entry to the parks for beer garden patrons during the beer garden times,” said Jamie Ludovic, Central Services Director. In December 2017 the Washington County Parks Department announced it would begin charging visitors $5 daily pass or $30 annual sticker.

Operation Avery’s Playroom | By Crystal Zurn

Justin Handrow grew up in Hartford and graduated Hartford High School.  Justin, Liz, and their children now live in Grafton. The couple have three children including a daughter Avery who is suffering cancer. Below is a story by Crystal Zurn from Slinger who is hoping to help the Handrow family with a remodeling project for their children.

“It’s cancer,” — two words that no one ever wants to hear, and if you do, one can’t imagine the painful way that it irreversibly flips your world upside down.

Those are the words the Handrow family heard on February 23, 2018 regarding their 1-1/2-year-old daughter, Avery. They later found out Avery has rhabdomyosarcoma, cancer in her face muscle. Despite several chemo and radiation treatments, in September 2018 they got more heartbreaking news that her cancer had spread to her lungs and lymph nodes.

This family has gone through an insurmountable amount of pain and heartbreak, and they need a beacon of hope in their lives. As Avery continues her treatments and care, it is imperative she stay as healthy as possible. Her immune system is very weak, so she often must be quarantined at her home and is unable to go outside. Spending this much time indoors has become a challenge for the Handrows, as they need more room for their kids to play, run, imagine, and grow (and for all of the toys that allow them to do this!)

We have spoken with the family and decided we are going to help them by finishing off their basement and creating a large playroom for Avery and her siblings! We have dubbed this project

We have volunteers and contractors who are willing to donate their time and efforts towards seeing this project through, but we need your help! We are looking for the following to be donated to successfully complete this project:

– Building materials such as lumber, drywall, etc. Monetary gift towards Operation Avery’s Playroom, which will go towards purchasing supplies, paint, decorations, and furnishings.

Our goal is to raise $7,500 for this project. Any amount, no matter how small, will go towards making a significant improvement to the lives of Avery and her family.

If you can’t give, but still want to support our cause, please share our page with your friends, family members, and coworkers. With more people aware of our cause, we will be one step closer to reaching our goal.

West Bend woman runs the U.S. to raise awareness for MS             By Tabetha Wolfe

Tabetha Wolfe of Germantown is helping bring awareness to multiple sclerosis (MS) via the MS Run the US. “The run is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also supporting those living with disability due to MS,” said Wolfe.

The running events focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle while inspiring individuals to maximize their capabilities and become more active to help those in need.  The MS Run the US- Relay is an annual 3,260-mile relay run across America for multiple sclerosis. On Monday, April 15, Wolfe started Segment 2 of the MS Run the US relay across America. She will be running a marathon a day for eight days (204 miles) from Barstow, CA to Las Vegas, NV. Below is a story from Wolfe about her fourth day on the road.

Day 4✔ 28.06 miles with 112.6 miles covered over the last four days. Over half-way done.

Our first night camping in the desert started out with a bang as we were getting ready to turn in for the evening the generator for the RV went out. The crew tried to get it going but were unsuccessful. So, we spent the night without the generator…not a big deal. But this will propose some interesting camping tonight.

Today started out rough, I went up hill covering over 2,000 feet in elevation. The first three miles I was not mentally in the right place but kept repeating a quote from the letter my daughter wrote me… “Everything you need is already within.”

I also reflected on why I am out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I am here from my mother-in-law Betty and my cousin Kelly Witte along with all the others that suffer with MS and to make this invisible disease VISIBLE! And that got me through.

Although it was rough, I kept plugging away. At mile 9 Peter told me it flattens out over the next three miles then it’s all down. Well the next three miles were all up, and big up. But after mile 12 I finally hit the down. It was great to open and pick the pace a bit.

I finished at an old train station that has been changed into the visitor center. This was an awesome place to end since the generator is broken, we can’t shower so I was able to use the bathroom to clean up and then sit in air conditioning. Now we are eating then enjoying the desert night sky. Until tomorrow. Which will bring another 2,000 feet in elevation…. again.

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0810, 04 May 2019

1 Comment

  1. guinness

    Nice local update. Thanks.

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