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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the holiday weekend people.

Like a classic muscle car this classic rocker never goes out of style. How does he do it?

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Scott Walker and Deer Management

Hunt'n, County Executive Walker

See that fella in the picture below...

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The Empty Nest - What to Expect When They Leave

Kids, Personal, Reminiscing

“Mom, Mom, MOMMMMMMMMM!!!”

About 15 years ago, I practically heard this in my sleep. I admit it - it often drove me a little crazy.

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Jobs

Jobs, job hunt, unemployment, Labor Day

Is there a greater pleasure than waking on a Monday morning to the low sound of thunder and, instead of getting out of bed, pulling up the comforter against the chill and reaching for a Stieg Larsson mystery?

During my long period of unemployment, I could have done this any rainy day. But it wouldn't have the savor of contrast with the normal workday routine. It wouldn't feel like a holiday, an almost-guilty delight. Or conversely, a reward for the good and hard paid work I do some 50 hours each week.

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Railroad Crossing Safety Part III

Public Education, Safety

Look both ways! Always expect a train. Trains can run on any track, at any time, in either direction. After a train passes, look both ways before proceeding.

Don’t get stuck on the tracks! Before you cross, be sure there is room on the other side to completely clear the tracks. Trains overhang the tracks by at least 3 feet on each side. For safety, leave at least 15 feet between your vehicle and the nearest rail.

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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the weekend.

And no better time to settle-back and dig some Robert Earl Keen Band.

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How to go out of business

If you don't read paper anymore, in book or periodical form, read no further.

But if you're one of us who still likes the feel and pliability of paper, who can remember a time when all the families in the neighborhood got not just one of Milwaukee's newspapers but the Sentinel in the morning and the Journal in the evening, come sit here on the complaint couch right next to me.

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Guess the Critter

Guess the critter

Fall is in the air.

The weekend before last it got down to an overnight low of 39 degrees up north. 

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Old School

I embarrassed my daughter this weekend.

On Saturday morning, the Tosa East marching band kicked off the day's activities at Tosa Fest with a stirring rendition of "Glorious," the selection that it will play for the Queen of England in London on New Year's Day 2011, followed by a rousing rendition of Tosa East's school song, "Hail, Wauwatosa."  My 15 year-old daughter, who plays flute in the band, was horrified to see her father stand for the playing of the school song.

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Tosa financing for UWM development wins Plan Commission OK

Wauwatosa UWM

A plan to provide $12 million in city funds to help pay for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's proposed Innovation Park development in Wauwatosa has just received approval from the city Plan Commission.

The commission recommended approval on a 5-1 vote at the Monday night meeting. The financing plan will next go to the Common Council's Budget and Finance Committee at its Tuesday meeting, and then to the full council on Sept. 21.

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UWM uses engineering profs to win approval for Innovation Park cash

Wauwatosa UWM

When a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee contingent came to the Wauwatosa Plan Commission meeting Monday night, seeking approval for city funds to help pay for UWM's proposed Innovation Park development, it was more than just an administrator or two who showed up.

Along with just-named Interim Chancellor Michael Lovell, eight faculty members spoke in favor of the financing plan - with all but one of them coming from the College of Engineering and Applied Science, where Lovell is dean.

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Recipe of the Day, Hunting and a Wee Bit O'Politics

Hunt'n, Terrific Cooking, County Executive Walker

Wisconsin's bow season opens this coming Saturday. 

My pals Braumeister, Smokey Joe and I have drawn and fired countless arrows at videos and paper targets.  My bow has been tuned and re-tuned again.  The cammo has been laundered in scent-free detergent and packed-away with the scent of dirt.  Same for the underwear.   And I'm getting all itchy about the prospects for this year's hunt.

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Home & School Association NEWS!

(Scroll down for pictures.)

St. Bernard's Home and School Association welcomed back families on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at the General Parent Meeting!  The recently-awarded 'EXEMPLARY' St. Bernard Parish School recently began the 91st year of preparing Wauwatosa-Area students for responsible citizenship and academic excellence.  The school offers SCRIP(a tuition-reduction program), Spanish Instruction K4-8, rigorous core curricula, Foundation in the Catholic Faith, SmartBoard technology-based lessons in all classrooms, sports, music, and art. 

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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It is six months following the Feast Day of St. Patrick - so I bring you an appropriate tune.

I don't know about the rest of you but I am going deer hunting.  And will be sporting a camouflage veil...

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Kermis Time

Gardening, Hunt'n, Life Is Good, Holidays

When the Belgian immigrants came to this country one of the traditions they brought  with them was the Kermis.

Derived from the words - Church Mass - Kermis has its roots in the celebration of the fall harvest.  Much of the celebration was centered around the local church.

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We can have it all

Tonight, the Wauwatosa Common Council will make a historic decision.  It will vote on a proposal to create a tax incremental financing (TIF) district for an 89-acre parcel on the County Grounds to be purchased by UW-Milwaukee from Milwaukee County.

Approving the TIF will promote economic development, protect an important environmental habitat, and preserve historically significant buildings.  It also will be prudent from a financial perspective.  
 
Currently, Wauwatosa gets no property tax money from the land that will be used for the UWM project.  That is because the land is County-owned, but that will change after UWM converts the land to taxable use.  Our private sector consultant, Springsted, tells us that, conservatively, we can expect the UWM project to be worth at least $100 million when it is fully built out.  That will bring an enormous amount of tax revenue into Wauwatosa from land that currently provides no tax revenue at all.  That $100 million will exceed 2% of the City's current tax base.
 
Under state law, when a TIF is created, the money that would be collected in property taxes (for all taxing entities, including the Wauwatosa School District, MATC, Metropolitant Sewerage District, etc.) is used to pay off any money borrowed by the municipality (in this case, Wauwatosa) for the TIF.  In other words, for the life of the TIF, the money will go only to Wauwatosa.  A TIF can exist for up to 27 years, but Springsted expects the UWM TIF to be paid off in about 20 years.  
 
Our TIF district for the Milwaukee County Research Park, TIF #2, was only worth $4 million when the City created it about 10 years ago from County land that had been mostly tax-exempt.  Now that land is worth $230 million, and is due to come on the tax rolls in 2013, many years before that TIF was scheduled to expire.  Again, this will bring an enormous amount of tax revenue into Wauwatosa for land that previously provided almost no tax revenue.  This additional revenue will allow us to hold down property taxes in the future and continue to provide the municipal services (streets, garbage collection, etc.) that we all need.
 
All of this is good news for Wauwatosa, but there is more.  For the new TIF, the City will borrow up to $12 million, but only in phases.  We will not borrow any money unless and until UWM actually buys the land and developments are guaranteed there.  Any money borrowed will only be borrowed as developments occur on the TIF property.  The money borrowed will be used to prepare the land for development -- by building water and sewer mains, extending electricity lines, and building a road -- and will not be paid to UWM or to any private developer.
 
When UWM buys the land, the property will immediately have a taxable value of $13.55 million, which will provide $200,000 a year to pay off the TIF.  The federal government has given UWM and the City a grant of $5.4 million for the construction of a "business accelerator" building in the UWM park.  That money can be used to build the building and pay for the infrastructure which otherwise will be provided by TIF money.  That could reduce our borrowing costs.  Also, the new building will be taxable, and add to the overall value of the parcel.  In the meantime, UWM will sell the historic Eschweiler buildings to one of the four development companies that are interested in renovating them and adding new developments.  That is expected to increase the value of the project by another $16 million.
 
The combination of the land purchase value, the value of the "accelerator" building, and the built-out Eschweiler area is expected to exceed $32 million even before other buildings are built in the UWM park.  These early developments should throw off enough money to pay for the TIF financing by themselves.
 
For all of these reasons, the UWM project is a safe deal from a financial standpoint, and an essential deal if we are to continue to make Wauwatosa an attractive place to do business. 
 
In addition, the UWM project will set aside 11 acres of land to preserve an important and much-loved Monarch butterfly habitat and preserve the Eschweiler buildings, which are on the National Register of Historic Buildings. 
 
The County has allowed the Eschweiler buildings to fall into serious disrepair, and any private developer of the land, which the County is determined to sell to plug its budget holes, is not likely to guarantee to protect the butterfly habitat, as UWM has committed to do.  The County has agreed to create a new 55-acre park just east of the butterfly habitat to extend the habitat and satisfy the desire of most Wauwatosa residents to preserve open space on the County Grounds. 
 
Some developers want to tear down the Eschweiler buildings, build over the butterfly habitat, and maximize the economic potential of the parcel.  At the other end of the spectrum, some advocates have wanted to ignore economic development, allow the Eschweiler buildings to crumble, and only preserve the butterfly habitat.  Adopting either of these views will not meet the needs or desires of most Wauwatosans.  Wauwatosa wants it all.  
 
By supporting the UWM project, we can have it all.  We can create $100 million of new, taxable development, protect a key wildlife habitat, and preserve historic buildings. 
 
The UWM project is a political compromise in the best possible sense.  Tonight, we will make it clear:  in Wauwatosa, we support jobs, the environment, historic preservation, and education.  Tonight, I will proudly cast my vote in favor of a brighter future for Wauwatosa.
 

Hot Chili Cook-Off~Join Us Saturday!

  All Are Welcome!

Do you have what it takes to knock off the winner from last year? 

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Competing in the 21st Century

Do you ever wonder how Milwaukee and Wauwatosa will thrive in the 21st century?  The answer is right in your neighborhood.

An economic impact analysis prepared by Vandewalle & Associates, Inc. lists the following facts about the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC), which is located on the County Grounds in Wauwatosa:

  • In 2009, MRMC had a total direct and indirect economic impact of $2.964 billion on metropolitan Milwaukee (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties).  The direct impact was $1.235 billion and the indirect impact was $1.729 billion.
  • MRMC employed 16,889 individuals in 2009 and stimulated an additional 17,600 jobs in the metro area.
  • The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) received $157 million in research funding in 2009, and the Blood Center of Wisconsin received another $16 million.

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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the weekend people. 

Tap your toes to an all star line-up and a classic tune from a classic artist...

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What's Happening @ stbernarparish.org in the Village?

See for yourself!  It's never too late to enroll your child!  Phone 258-9977 for a personal tour.

Both Mrs. Baier, third grade teacher, and Mrs. Helt, Kindergarten teacher, invite you to catch a glimpse of what's going on at St. Bernard Parish School!  Click to see below!

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