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One Day at a Time 2012

One Day at a Time in 2012.

That is the way to go for many reasons. it gives you time to finish what you started and not think about what may happen next.

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EEF Finishes 2011 with a $36,000 BANG!

The Elmbrook Education Foundation kicked off the holiday season and finished 2011 with the party of all time .... the 8th annual Ladies Night at the Westmoor Country Club held on 11/29/11. 

This event was generously sponsored by Pasternak & Zirgibel, S.C.. and raised nearly $36,000 (a new record for this event) to help support Foundation programs which extend all of the great work that is going on in our schools thanks to committed staff, parents, PTOs, and booster clubs. 

We would also like to recognize our Associate and Scholar level supporting event sponsors for the evening:

  • Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - Elmbrook Memorial
  • M3 Insurance Solutions
  • ActionCOACH Business Coaching, Elm Grove
  • C.G. Schmidt Construction
  • Nistler Law Office

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Africa's Choking on Their Coca-Colas

Africa is a place washed in blood - both human and animal.  My awareness of the continent began by reading the sweeping novels of Robert Ruark: Something of ValueUhuru, and The Honey Badger.  Though far less known than his contemporary and fellow big game hunter Ernest Hemingway, who also wrote of Africa, it was Ruark's penetrating prose that captured the searing and visceral impact of what he called MMBA - "miles and miles of bloody Africa".  

The title of this article is taken from the lyrics of the song Charlie Don't Surf, from the triple-album SANDINISTA!  Released in 1981 by The Clash, it is a sprawling work of music and commentary.  There have been better bands than The Clash, but none more virulently political.  Pictured below is the cover of their album London Calling; its still shot of bassist Paul Simonon worth more than the proverbial "thousand words".  With song titles like Washington Bullets, Spanish Bombs, The Guns of Brixton, Pressure Drop, and Death or Glory, the group's song-writing tandem of Joe Strummer and Mick Jones stood atop the music scene of the early '80's.  But The Clash was aptly named, for they would founder before the end of that decade in a conflagration fueled by heroin, incendiary talent, and barely suppressed rage.


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Open House for K4 and K5 at St. John Vianney Parish School, January 6 and 9

St. John Vianney, K4 Brookfield

St. John Vianney Parish School is having an open house for its 4-year-old kindergarten and 5-year-old kindergarten. You can come tour the school, meet Principal Pamela Pyzyk and speak with the K4 and K5 teachers on Friday, January 6th (9:30am Reception, 9:45-10:30am Presentation) or Monday, January 9th (6:00pm Reception, 6:15 – 7:00pm Presentation).

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K3 is coming to SMV, Open House, a Long Distance Field Trip and More.

St. Mary's Visitation to Add K3 Program

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Basketball bits and pieces...


Some bits and pieces on basketball ...

Feel free to check out my story on the Tosa West boys, who start three freshman this season at

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No Shire on next Monday's Plan Commission agenda

We were told January, but I guess not yet.

On the agenda are a parking lot, outdoor seating, and a crematorium.

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Hollywood Themed Wine Tasting Gala to Raise Funds for Elmbrook Humane Society

fundraiser, gala, Elmbrook Humane Society, animals, silent auction, live auction, dogs, cats, pets, animals

The Elmbrook Humane Society is holding their Annual Wine & Whiskers fund-raising gala with a Hollywood theme. The event will celebrate the magic and glamour of Hollywood, highlighting the many four-legged celebrities who have entertained us and won our hearts over the years.

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4K, again.

Listen, the Elmbrook School board isn't winning any friends by bringing this up again. Superintendent Matt Gibson, in all his glory, just likes to make everyone happy. (Think Kumbaya.) The issue comes up and is defeated to prove that dog gone it, he is a nice guy and people like him.

Or something like that.

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Rockets loss, takes gloss off game with Ike girls on Friday

New Berlin Eisenhower, New Berlin West, Brookfield Central Tosa East, girls basketball

Suddenly the South Milwaukee girls basketball game with New Berlin Eisenhower doesn't look as inviting on Friday.

Eisenhower (9-0), which really hasn't been challenged all year, hosts the Rockets (7-1) on Friday night. But the Rockets got killed by Cudahy (55-25) on Tuesday, the same Cudahy team which was crushed by Ike on Dec. 20 (64-40).

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GREEN BAY PACKERS: big, big game Sunday against NY Giants. on a positive note the pack will have all the big guns back and ready to go. the Giants have Manning 3 at QB who has the ability to throw an errant pass when rushed. with home field advantage this should be a win going away.

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Hope things go well for Target / Trader Joes: Public Hearing Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012

City of Brookfield, Development

On a snowy winter's night last Thursday, a group of neighbors, District 7 Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr, Mayor Ponto, Community Development Director Dan Ertl, and some representatives from the Ryan Company gathered to discuss the changes the developer is requesting for the Underwood Crossing project.

Ryan Company's retail development director, Tony Barranco, explained the 4 changes to the approved plan and gave the reasons for the requests. All 4 seem very reasonable.

Though I have been in favor of the Target anchor store, at the Underwood Crossing Retail Center on Bluemound Road, I was wary when I heard they were requesting higher density.

But my fears were quickly alleviated. The request for the increased density from 35% to 40% is for the Jr. Anchor store adjacent to the Target only--not for the entire project. If you look at the drawing, you see the yellow is the original sizing, the red the requested size.

In fact, the density or Floor Area Ratio--F.A.R. (proportion of building structure to overall area) is well below the 30% standard. Underwood Crossing was approved at 16. If the increase in density for the Jr. Anchor is approved, it would be 17.2. If you notice the out buildings to the north, the Trader Joe's in right corner is now larger, but the Multi Tenant center building is about half its original size. The PNC bank to the west is smaller. (My adjustments in red are NOT to scale, and not yet approved, it is just so you get an idea of what they are asking for.)

The Jr. Anchor (still undisclosed but is some sort of home product store), is asking for an additional 5,900 square feet to be used mostly for merchandise storage, not retail floor. The additional space would be added to the east side of the building, with the majority to the back (loading area).

The other major issue is the request to increase the overall height of the light poles from 20' to 25'. Brookfield's standard is 20 feet. Here a 5' increase in pole height would result in 11 fewer light poles and less energy consumption. From what I could tell from the renderings Tony Barracano showed, the light pool would remain the same--in other words, here, they can do more with less. Because of the topography, the neighborhood is at a higher elevation than the retail center; the 5 foot increase shouldn't create a problem for the neighbors.

A 3rd request is to add Trader Joe's name to the monument sign on Bluemound. To me, Trader Joe's is the MAJOR attraction here. Target may be the largest anchor store, but Trader Joe's is the real star. Motorists should be able to see at a glance where the Trader Joe's entrance is. Trader Joe's logo is just their name in big red letters. It should go nicely with the Target. Ryan Company is not asking for a larger sign, just that Trader Joe's name be added.

I don't know if people realize what a feather in Brookfield's cap a Trader Joe's is for us. I know I have been wishing for one for some time. Evidently, Dan Ertl has been wooing them since they entered the Milwaukee market at Bay Shore.

Currently, that is the only Trader Joe's, and it is in a congested parking lot that is an accident waiting to happen. Still, people travel from more than 25 miles away just to shop at Bay Shore's Trader Joe's. I think we can safely conclude Brookfield's Trader Joe's will increase the success of every retailer located at Underwood Crossing. The least we can do is put their name on the sign!

The last item needing approval regards the berm. Initially, the berm's vegetation was not to be touched by the developer, but a section had to be cleared to connect to water. When the neighborhood saw how much better the berm looked after Ryan Co. restored the plantings with mixed evergreens, they wanted to see additional evergreen plantings incorporated into the berm. The neighbors are asking that undesirable trees such as Buckthorn and Box Alder be removed, and that Ryan replace with a variety of evergreens. They are willing to do this if they are granted the 25' light pole height variance. Ryan figures the money saved by using 11 fewer but taller poles would help pay for the $40,000+ additional evergreens to the original plan.

Bottom line: It is a case of give and take. From what I hear, Ryan Co. has been very receptive to the requests of the neighborhood. They helped clean up the former Quebecor site. They created a development that comes in well under the zoning FAR.

Their requests do not seem out of line to me for what we are getting. I hope it goes well for them with the Plan Commission and Common Council. Share your opinions at  Brookfield City Hall Common Council Chambers Tuesday, January 17th at 7:45pm.

Submit your comments before the next Plan Commission meeting on Monday, January 23, 2012: I asked Alderman Mellone if comments could be emailed in, as we have in the past. She said yes. Send your comments to Alderman Lisa Mellone:  , Alderman Renee' Lowerr: , Dan Ertl:  and/or Mayor Steve Ponto: .  After the Jan. 23rd Plan Commission meeting (if all goes well), Underwood Crossing Retail Center PDD goes before the Common Council for approval on February 7th. We are almost finished, but Dan Ertl informs me there would still be a "modest amendment to the project development agreement at a subsequent meeting".

Brookfield considers changes to development plan in advance of Trader Joe's Dec. 14, 2011
Public Hearing Notice

Past Posts: A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On in SE Brookfield Aug. 24, 2011
Brookfield's proposed Target Store Public Hearing: Dec. 7, 7:45pm, UPDATE and maps Dec. 7, 2010
Can it be? A Target in Brookfield? How about a Trader Joe's too? March 12, 2010
In Praise of Aldi's AND Trader Joe's: Wish We Had Both! June 4, 2008

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Public Service Deserves Credit

Yes, public service by elected officials does deserve credit.

It takes a special person to take part of their life and devote it to public service.

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Huge game up next for Ike boys Friday...other notes

Eisenhower boys basketball, Brookfield East girls basketball, Brookfield Central girls basketball

Looking ahead to Friday for the teams I cover, there are some huge games to look at, but none bigger than Whitnall at New Berlin Eisenhower in a battle for first.

WHITNALL: Coach Kent Kroupa's squad has the best record in the Black Division (8-1) and overall (12-1). They have won four straight games since losing their only game to Ike's cross-town rival NB West, 51-50.

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Medical College of Wisconsin's Dr. Bolender presents The Miracle of Human Development, Jan. 24, 2012

Brookfield, Special events, Creation Science / Intelligent Design

The Creation Science Society of Milwaukee is pleased to present Dr. David Bolender, Ph.D as their speaker on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 6:45pm. He will be discussing "The Miracle of Human Development from Conception to Birth".

Dr. Bolender is very familiar with this subject as he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy and Director of the Human Development Course at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "He also teaches Clinical Human Anatomy and Cell and Tissue Biology as well as advanced anatomy electives. ...he has participated in research on the role of growth factors in the development of the heart, limbs, and blood vessels."

Medical science has come a long way since the display of preserved human fetuses so many of us remember at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. As I recall, there was at least one real specimen at each stage of development. The display dated back to the 1930s. Back then, and even in my lifetime, "details of prenatal development were unclear for many years and the subject of much speculation and misinterpretation". But thanks to improved technology we get a glimpse into this once hidden realm. Advances in medical imaging has given us this "window into human development in the womb." "Dr. Bolender will share many of their most amazing new insights in this presentation."

This meeting is not to be missed! Bring your family and friends to Brookfield Lutheran Church, located at 18500 W. Burleigh Road, in Brookfield, Wisconsin on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 6:45pm. (The church is just east of Brookfield Road on Burleigh Road)

No wonder the Psalmist David wrote in Psalm 139:14:
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.


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The Shire absent from January 23rd agenda

The Plan Commission will not be seeing The Shire expansion in January after all.

Other blogs:

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The people of Wisconsin were saddened by the playoff loss of the Green Bay Packers to the New York Giants.

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Elmbrook Humane Society Therapy Dog Visit to Care-Age on Valentine’s Day 2012

Therapy, Dogs, Elmbrook Humane Society, pets, Care-Age, Valentine's Day

Two and four-legged friends from Elmbrook Humane Society's Therapy Team hope to spread love and kindness to the residents of Care-Age of Brookfield this Valentine's Day.   Members of Elmbrook Humane Society's Therapy Team will be visiting residents at this senior facility on February 14, 2012 from 4-5pm.

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Hillside Elementary Student Scholarship Fund Leaves a Legacy

The Elmbrook School District may be closing Hillside Elementary in Spring, but the past and present Hillside community is taking steps to make sure that Hillside is not forgotten in Elmbrook anytime soon.

Hillside Elementary has established the "Hillside Student Scholarship Fund" on behalf of past and present students.  The Hillside PTO has committed a portion of their current reserves to start the fund and will be partnering with the EEF to further develop the fund through the remainder of the school year.  Hillside staff, parents, alumni, and retirees are all encouraged to be part of developing this fund as the balance will determine how many scholarships can be awarded annually to prior Hillside students through 2024 .... the final year that Hillside's final kindergarten class will be graduating from Elmbrook.

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Meet Milwaukee Brewer Craig Counsell at the Great Lakes Pet Expo

Meet Milwaukee Brewer Craig Counsell at the Great Lakes Pet Expo

MILWAUKEE, WI. – Over 300 of Wisconsin’s furriest residents will welcome Milwaukee Brewer
(and animal lover), Craig Counsell, to the Great Lakes Pet Expo on Super Bowl Saturday,
February 4, 2012. Whether you’re looking for an autograph from a heavy hitter or some heavy
petting, animal lovers big and small will have a blast at the biggest pre-game party in Southeast
Wisconsin. In the mood for kittens and puppies? A llama or minihorse? Maybe a reptile or two?
Perhaps some good family entertainment or pre-game activities? Whether you’re looking to
interact with hundreds of species or just kick back and watch a parade, the Great Lakes Family
Pet Expo has it all!

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