H 73° L 45°
Partly Cloudy | 15MPH

The error of my ways

Bluemound, Town, traffic

My blog does not have the readership levels that Cindy Kilkenny’s does.  But it does on occasion evidently have impact.  During a conversation, someone recently noted that there had been three ‘factual’ errors in my blog.  He claimed the errors were:

(1)  My writing (and believing) that 124th Street south of Greenfield was in Brookfield.  (Dec 12, 2006)

Read more

Brett Favre

Did he repeat to himself as he broke huddle for that last play, what he had told us so long ago at the press conference called to announce his entry into a rehab. program - "don't bet against me".

We are a nation whose obsession with sports is embarassing.  But at its best, and when played by its best, sports are a microcosm of life, and can often encourage the best that is within us, as well as things we may lament.

Read more

Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

Auto Theft, Crime Prevention, Theft

I am often approached and asked how to prevent motor vehicle theft so I thought why not post a blog addressing just that issue. Pleas take the time to review some tips on preventing vehicle theft. Not all of the suggestions may be practicle for you or your vehicle, you have to be the judge as to what you think is appropriate.
  • Never leave your vehicle running unattended.
  • Never leave your keys in the ignition.
  • Always roll the windows up and lock the doors, even if parked at home.
  • Install tapered door lock buttons, discard the ones with the lips on them. This will prevent the opening of your doors with a coat hanger or similar device.
  • Never leave anything of value in the auto; this includes the change left over from the convenience store and drive through.
  • Never hide a key on or under the vehicle, thieves will take the time to try and locate "Hidden" keys.
  • Park in busy and well lit spots.
  • Consider having the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) etched on the entire vehicle's glass.
  • Consider installing an ignition kill or cutout switch in a hidden location.
  • Consider using a mechanical steering wheel locking device.
  • Consider installing an alarm.
  • Consider a vehicle monitoring and tracking system.
  • If you install an alarm or employee a tracking system, display the provided stickers on your vehicle.
  • If you have recently purchased a used vehicle, especially from a private party, consider changing the ignition switch.
As always, practicing the tips pointed our here will not guarantee that you will not be the victim of a crime. But, they will lower the chances of you becoming a victim.

Tis the Season

Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society

Promotions for the holiday season are beginning earlier and earlier.  For many people it’s a frenzied and stressful time of year.  Planning ahead helps.  So mark your calendar for December 1 and 2 for something you will enjoy and solve some of your holiday needs. 


Read more

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Crime Prevention, Holiday Safety, Internet Safety, Safety

If you have been to Mayfair Mall this week you have seen the Christmas / Holiday decorations are up. Add that to the fact that the busiest retail day of the year, the Friday after Thanksgiving is just two short weeks away; not to mention the fact that the ladies in my family are about to embark on the annual shopping weekend this second weekend in November; well I am compelled to write about shopping safety tips.


Please take the time to review the tips listed below and should you think of some additional tips, add them in the comments section or give me an email.


Read more

Veteran's Day

I always think of four names on November 11: Bud, Andy, Cornel, and Eugene, my father, father-in-law, and two uncles respectively.  They all fought in World War Two, and thankfully, they all came back.  Three of them are gone now, heroes to our country and certainly to me.  My father-in-law's uniform from Patton's Third Army hangs in our closet.  We take it out on days like this to remember him, reflect on what his generation did, and to talk with our kids of these things. 

After them I recall the stunning images in the opening scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan.  Spielberg's craft is at its height with the panoramic sweep of the American cemetery at Normandy.  The enormous, over-arching American flags lofting in the Channel fed breezes and keeping vigil over her sons, silently express a level of human emotion for which even Skakespeare might have been inadequate.

Read more

City Development


Brookfield became a city in 1954.  In 1959, the city funded a master plan for development. At that time, the plan projected a population of 80,000 people, and it included a mix of residential, commercial and industrial development.

Because of this, Dan Ertl, Director of Community Development, becomes defensive when people talk about the over-commercialization of Brookfield. Dan was hired in 1987 and began reviewing the 1959 plan with Kate Bloomberg.  Ertl described development until that time as "frenzied."  Ertl and Bloomberg reduced the 1959 plans for density along North Avenue, 124 Street and Capitol Drive.  Ertl is committed to ensuring existing businesses' success and that the city remains inviting and competitive . 

Read more

Home Security Measures

Crime Prevention, Home Safety

Below you will find some tips on improving the security of your home. I fully understand that everything you read here may not work for you or fit your desires, but by employing the tips listed below you will make it harder for unauthorized persons to enter your home. Like any chain is only as strong as it weakest link, your home is only as secure as your weakest security precaution.


  • Shrubs should be below the window and no higher than 2'. Consider thorn bushes as well
  • Tree branches should be a minimum of 7' high
  • Tree branches should be no closer than 6' to the edge of the roof

Read more


New Berlin

Hello and welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

First, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Katie Derksen and I am one of six staff photographers at Community Newspapers. After two years of shooting for a newspaper down in Florida, I moved back to my home state of Wisconsin this past summer and jumped on board with CNI. It’s great to be home!

Read more

Once Upon a Time in America**

The Holiday we know as Thanksgiving has two foundations in our nation's history.

The first lies in the autumn of 1621.  The people we know as the Pilgrims gathered to give thanks for having survived their first winter in North America, and for the liberties they enjoyed upon coming to this continent. 

Read more

Winter Weather Driving Tips

Accident Prevention, Safety, Winter Driving

Well Ladies and Gentlemen we are one day away from Thanksgiving and the weather looks like it might give us our first driving challenge of the late fall. Forecasters are having a hard time pinpointing exactly what we are in for, but it does appear at a minimum that it could be a sloppy and slippery mess. We had a great summer and early fall weather-wise but now it is time to focus on getting the rust and dust off our winter weather driving skills. I am asking that you take the time to read the points below and give them some thought as you venture out on your first winter driving adventure, be it today or later in the season.

  • We all have a route planned before we leave but have you considered an alternate route? Give it some thought should weather or traffic dictate change.
  • Always give a "Flight Plan" to those you are leaving behind as well as traveling to; this includes your vehicle's description and license plate. Doing this will aid law enforcement in searching for you should the need arise.
  • Carry extra cash or credit cards with you should you need to interrupt your trip and seek a hotel for an overnight stay.
  • Make sure your car is in good working order. Brakes, tires, headlights, blinkers, windshield wipers, and windshield wash should all be inspected before departing.
  • Use your headlights no matter what the time of day.
  • If you can, have at least another person along while traveling. Maybe you can share driving to cut down on fatigue.
  • If fatigue sets in, or the weather becomes too difficult for you to continue traveling in, find a safe place to park and wait it out or get a hotel room.
  • Watch the mile marker and exit numbers as you travel, it will help you pinoint a location should you have to contact help for yourself or other motorists.
  • The use of cruise control is discouraged on icy or otherwise slippery roads.
  • Remember to drive defensively; leaving larger gaps between you and the vehicles in front as well as reducing your speed.
  • Remember also that overpasses will ice up sooner than the roadway.
  • Four wheel drive, all wheel drive and front wheel drive all have advantages in bad weather, but none of them are your "Pass" to drive less carefully.
  • If you should become stranded, stay with the vehicle and run the vehicle intermittently. Crack a window to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
  • Carry a winter travel kit and consider the following items for it:
    • Cell Phone
    • Extra gloves, hats and socks
    • Boots
    • Blanket(s)
    • Snack foods
    • Bottled Water
    • Flashlight
    • Candle
    • Matches / lighter
    • Good book / magazines
    • Cat litter for traction
    • A portable radio, preferably with a weather band
    • Lock de-icer
    • Jumper Cables or portable jump back
    • Road flares

I hope this helps and has refreshed your memory as sooner or later you are going to have to drive in less than desirable weather. Also, please look to the tags at the right of this blog and click on "Accidents" for some tips on what to do should you become involved in a motor vehicle accident.

"A Christmas Carol" rehearsal

It's time to fess up: I'm absolutely addicted to clean backgrounds and pretty available light. But I'm not alone. Most photographers can't get enough of these photographic drugs.

Below is a photo I shot yesterday at the beautiful Pabst Theater, downtown. It's part of a long-term project I'm working on where I've been following a few of our local residents and children through try-outs, rehearsals and eventually, performances, of this year's, "A Christmas Carol," presented by the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. In this photo, I set my exposure for the light shining down on Ebenezer Scrooge.

Read more

A Trip to the Tree Farm

The Thanksgiving leftovers are barely cold in my refrigerator, and it’s off to the Christmas Tree Farm I go!

I spent a little time at Buffalo Bill’s Christmas Tree Farm this morning, located on Oakwood Road in Franklin. Owner Rose Hinkel, along with several of her family members and friends, were busy measuring and tagging trees. She’s thankful for the sunshine, Hinkel said, as I fumbled with my camera dials, grumbling over forgetting my gloves. I was thankful for the sun, too … it made for some nice light.

Read more

The Difference Between Men and Boys is the Size of Their Toys

New Berlin

I'm not quite sure who was having more fun today at New Berlin's Lionel Railroad Club open house: the fathers or their sons.

Model trains of all different types filled the building and ran across the tracks on a scheduled timer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, alternating every 20 minutes between day and night scenes. When the lights were down for the night scenes, not even shooting at 1/8 of a second produced any usable photos. I stayed for approximately "three days" (one hour) and got a couple pictures I was happy with.

Read more

Gift Card Scam / Theft

Crime Prevention, Scam, Theft

There is a way the "Bad Guys" are scamming us on gift cards, even before we purchase them. How are they doing that? Well, some stores elect to have their gift cards on racks or hooks where you just pull them off and have the cashier charge them up with an amount. In stores like that the "Bad Guys" are writing down serial numbers off of the cards on the rack and they can later retrieve a balance by using the store's customer service telephone number. And to make matters worse, they can use the gift card online just by having that serial number they copied earlier and a known balance provided by the store.

 Here is a scenario:

Read more

Lake Michigan - Part Two

I wrote of Lake Michigan last month and am only now getting back to the topic.

In my first blog ( I wrote of my feelings for "Missi-Ken".  I acknowledge my lack of objectivity on the subject, for she is one of the great loves of my life.  But the general issue of water is more clinical.

Read more

Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers News

Crime Stoppers


Read more

Features During Free Throws


I wish I knew how to make a nice photo out of a basketball player shooting a free throw. I really do. But, I don't. Free throws rarely lend themselves to appealing photographs. So, during those moments, instead of focusing on the players, I look around. Sometimes, I see photos like this. Othertimes, I don't see a thing.

Her name is Sophie and she's 3 years old. When Sophie gets "big," she wants to be a cheerleader, she says. But for now, she's perfectly happy as the mini-mascot for the Muskego High School cheerleading squad. For the first half of last night's boys varsity basketball game between New Berlin Eisenhower and Muskego, Sophie shook her poms, grinning from ear to ear, all while staying within arm's reach of the girls she looks up to oh-so-much.

Read more

News from the South Milwaukee Public Library

The final Monday book sale for 2007 will be held on Monday morning, December 3 from 9:30-11.  Great bargains!

The Youth Room is sponsoring the Scholastic Book Fair starting on Thursday, November 30 through Saturday, December 8th.  This Christmas give the gift of reading….give a book!

Santa will visit the South Milwaukee Library on Tuesday, December 4th when the Youth Room has its annual HOLIDAY FUN NIGHT.  Miss Denise will tell stories, Santa will visit and their will be cookies.

The Thursday afternoon book club will meet on Thursday, December 13 at 1 PM.  This month they will be reading books on Beatrix Potter.
Need ideas for decorating or entertaining for the holidays?  Check out the library’s collection of books on decorating the home or entertaining ides for the holidays.  Be sure to check out the cookbooks on cookies!

The Library Hours for the holidays are as follows:  The Library will be closed on Monday, December 24th and Tuesday, December 25th and again on Monday, December 31 and January 1st.  The Library Board and Staff want to wish all of you a very happy holiday! 


Smithsonian exhibit

Hales Corners

I thought I'd update with a quick photo before I head off to Florida for a few days!

With Hales Corners being no larger than a couple square miles, you might never guess the community is now host to a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit, "Between Fences." A group of fourth-graders from Hales Corners Lutheran Elementary School took a trip to the Stahl-Conrad Homestead yesterday and checked out the exhibit with their curious eyes and wandering hands.

Read more

Page Tools

Latest Posts