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Proposed entertainment center with indoor go-karts looking for new site

Brookfield, Retail

A family entertainment center, featuring indoor go-kart racing tracks, proposed for an empty warehouse in the Town of Brookfield is looking for a new location.

Mark Damico had planned to open Top Dog Speedway and Family Entertainment Center in a 43,300-square-foot building at 21875 Doral Road, just north of I-94 and east of Springdale Road.

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St. John Vianney Students Help Families in Ecuador through Their Advent Project

At St. John Vianney School, it is a tradition during Advent for students to do service projects that help the less fortunate. This year, first graders and fifth graders are collecting money for a mission in Quito, Ecuador called The Working Boys’ Center.  Students have been asked to do extra chores at home and find other ways to acquire spare change and donate it to the program which is called “CHANGE” For the Working Boys’ Center Christmas.

The Working Boys’ Center is a Catholic institution that works with families to bring them out of poverty through programs of formation and education assistance.  On Christmas day, the families gather for a special celebration of Jesus’ birth as well as the First Communion for those children who have prepared for it.  A special chicken dinner is served to all 400 families and a Christmas gift bundle is given to each family.  This bundle contains useful clothing items for each family member.  

First graders in Mrs. Albright and Mrs. William’s classes are also making cards for the children in Quito who are making their First Communion.  A friend of a first grader who recently visited the Working Boys’ Center in Quito brought back knitted finger puppets for the SJV students.  This gives the students an opportunity to see what kind of toys the children in Ecuador play with.

The Working Boys’ Center relies on donations and volunteers mainly from the United States.  This new Advent project will allow them to continue to make Christmas special for the members of the Center.

SJV Students Spread Christmas Joy

SJV second grade Brownie Troop #2045 visited the Care Age nursing home in Brookfield on Wednesday, December 2nd.  The girls sang Christmas carols to a room full of nursing home residents.  After singing, the girls walked through the facility, visiting room-bound residents who could not attend the caroling session.  Each resident was given a beautiful Christmas ornament made by the students.
Smiles were plentiful!  The true spirit of the season – giving and receiving joy – was shared by the residents and the students


SJV Kindergarten Open House

St. John Vianney School invites parents of four and five year olds to attend our Kindergarten Open House on Friday, January 7th at 9:30am or Monday, January 10th at 6:30pm.  
Each open house will begin in the K4 classroom, which is located just inside the Parish Center’s main doors.  Principal Pamela Pyzyk will give a brief welcome and introduction followed by short presentations from the K4 and K5 teachers.  Parents will have the opportunity to tour the kindergarten classrooms and speak directly with the teachers and the principal.  
The SJV community is very proud of its K4 and K5 programs.  We offer two K4 options every weekday. The morning session meets from 8am to 11am, and the afternoon session meets from 11:40am to 2:40pm.  Mrs. Arena and Mrs. Averkamp are the K4 teachers.  The K5 program meets every day beginning at 7:50am and ending at 2:50pm.  Mrs. Andreucci and Mrs. Knop are the K5 teachers. Each teacher, accompanied by an assistant, provides an excellent early childhood education while also demonstrating and teaching our Catholic beliefs in the classroom.  
Refreshments will be served at both sessions.  A school tour is available on Friday, January 7th.  Childcare is provided during both sessions of the Open House.  St. John Vianney School and Parish is located at 17500 Gebhardt Rd. in Brookfield.
If you cannot attend the Open House but would like more information or to schedule a classroom visit and tour of the school, please call Principal Pamela Pyzyk at (262)796-3942 or email her assistant, Janelle Peterson, at  You can learn more about St. John Vianney School and Parish by visiting our website, at .

East's Lehman to attend West Point

Brookfield East quarterback Jonathan Lehman has accepted a verbal offer to play football at the United States Military Academy.
“Army is more than just a school with a great football tradition, a great coaching staff and a great academic ranking; it has all of those things,” Lehman said. “But, it is a school founded and operated on the principles of ‘Duty, Honor, Country” and that sets it apart from every other school in the country.
“To say that I am honored by the offer to play for Coach (Rich) Ellerson at West Point would be an extreme understatement.”
 Lehman had already interviewed with the Congressional interview panels and received a Letter of Admission from USMA.
Lehman, a multi-sport letterman, made his decision to attend Army over other schools such as Brown, Dartmouth, Carnegie Mellon and Navy after spending a week at the USMA Leadership Seminar last summer. While at West Point, Lehman plans to major in either languages or International Relations.
“Jonathan is the whole package,” East coach Tom Swittel said. “He is 6’2, 175 and runs a 4.58 40-yard dash and 4.13 20-yard shuttle.”
The WFCA Hall of Fame coach called Lehman “the fastest quarterback that I have ever coached in over 30 years of coaching, and his work ethic has set new standards here at East.”
Lehman, who passed for 1,581 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 435 yards and 12 scores, led his team to the playoffs for the first time since 2003 with a 9-2 record.
Lehman, a second-team All-Greater Metro Conference quarterback and High Honorable Mention NOW Newspapers All-Suburban choice, was voted co-captain and co-MVP by his teammates.
“Off the field, Jonathan is an excellent student (4.01 GPA) and of high moral character,” Swittel said. “I can’t think of a better place for him than West Point, or a better student-athlete for them than Jonathan. This is the rare perfect fit.”

Wai Momi

How quickly we forget.  How firmly we assume that the problems we face are the greatest we have ever encountered.  Sixty nine years ago tomorrow, America was irrevocably and forever changed.

The ancient Hawaiians called Pearl Harbor Wai Momi - literally translated - "Water of Pearl".  On December 7, 1941, war-time Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and the Empire of Japan, attacked the United States Naval installations located there.


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A St. Nick morning surprise

History, Family, Just for fun!, Holidays

In my childhood days, I would have raced downstairs on this morning to check my St. Nick stocking. These days, I often remember the day with a little treat for my family, even though we are all adults.

Somehow, St. Nick always forgets ;-) my stocking, but this morning, I found a very pleasant surprise in my email in-box that put me in the Christmas spirit. Here it is:

"This flash mob was organized by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!" The clip information stated there were over 100 participants in the production. This would be one of the few times I wish I had been shopping!

Happy St. Nicholas Day and Merry Christmas

Do you celebrate St. Nick on Dec. 6th? It's very Milwaukee


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Rezoning for Brookfield

This blog was first written on October 19. As I completed the last sentence, the system deleted my entire text. I contacted my software engineer friend Scott Berg who told me how to master the system. Anyway, the common council will be voting on a change in the zoning code to accommodate a development  proposed by Target near 126th and Bluemound. Some years ago we effectively voted big-box retailing out of Brookfield. I still support this in principle. However, we are in the throes of a serious recession. This land needs an expensive environmental clean-up. And current zoning requires this mixed development zoning to include residential units. The developer claims that a development here with housing is not economically feasible now. Probably so. The dilemma here is, do we play it safe and change the zoning to accommodate a strictly commercial development, or risk losing Target and having a brown field for ten years or so.  Elm Grove has redeveloped the property north of Bluemound into a first class boutique type strip mall that would complement the Target area. I think that because  of its proximity  to Elm Grove, our  common council and panners could exact some more upscale features for the big box. However, a connection with the residential neighborhood has been part of the plan. I strongly recommend that this feature NOT be included. This poses all sorts of problems for the residential area. Traffic speeding through the area will be bad enough to keep a police officer occupied. Citizens should oppose this feature vigorously. On balance, I think the Common Council should approve a change to the neighborhood plan to accommodate the plan presented for Target.  

Brookfield's proposed Target Store PUBLIC HEARING: Dec. 7, 7:45pm, UPDATE & maps

City of Brookfield, Development, Transportation

Would you want to help non-resident drivers cut through your neighborhood, just so they could get to a new proposed shopping center without using your closest busy main streets? Of course not.

Yet the Plan Commission and our City is doing just that with the new Target store proposal for the former Quebecor site on Bluemound, at the Brookfield/Wauwatosa border.
Take a look.

The planners are promoting an additional, unnecessary, new street access point, running east/west from Columbia Blvd, (a purely residential street) to (and through) the new shopping center, when there is already adequate access from Bluemound Road!

And why are they pushing this? One reason is for people who might be playing baseball at Krueger Park, who MIGHT want to go to the new Target store after a game. They argue they need an easy way to get there from the park. (Rendering is from Ryan Co., the developer.)

So our planners, and some of the Aldermen on the Common Council, are willing to subject a quiet, single family, residential neighborhood to cut through traffic from the south, for all those who want to avoid the Bluemound and Elm Grove Road intersection. This would include Target Store bound traffic from Greenfield Ave to the south.

Who doesn't want this? Obviously, the neighborhood! But also the developer, Ryan Company.

It is my understanding that Ryan wants something that more closely resembles my cut-and-past efforts pictured here. Yellow indicates existing streets, orange would be new access with arterial lights on Bluemound. (Thanks to MapQuest satellite view and Ryan's rendering.)

Note that Columbia Blvd. does connect to Krueger Park. It would be very simple for those baseball players (who might want to shop after a game) to drive north on Columbia, turn right on Bluemound, travel 300 feet
east to the new Target entrance, turn right, drive in and park.

As for the neighborhood itself, there are Greenway Trail connections for walking and biking there and from my neighborhood south of I-94. This system would also connect to the Trails in Wauwatosa. So there is pedestrian and bike access without using Bluemound Road.

This Public Hearing is primarily to change the LAND USE from Mixed to Retail. Remember the original plan was for high density housing? Translate: apartments. Believe me, Brookfield and the neighborhood is far better off with this being purely retail / business such as the Target, a restaurant and a bank. Brookfield doesn't need more apartments or condos that do not contribute enough in tax revenue to support the schools or services they use.

I might remind our new Mayor Ponto that he told me he had a strong desire to protect the single family home's property values. I would like to see Mayor Ponto take a leadership role in this and protect this neighborhood from this unwanted and unnecessary intrusion.

Please help your fellow Brookfield residents preserve their neighborhood from unwanted non-neighborhood related traffic by commenting tonight at the Common Council Public Hearing or emailing your comments to (She will forward them.) The Council will vote on this December 21st.

My Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee' Lowerr sent the following information in an email: 

"Proposed Target Store update:

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Flakes and Panes


Through WINDOW PANE, the draping snow,

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It's Not Just a Picture To Me

photographer, pictures, dogs, Elmbrook Humane Society, EBHS

Every Thursday morning I have a routine: I pour my usual cup of coffee and sit down at the computer to check to find out which dogs need their pictures taken for the Elmbrook Humane Society website. I then pack up my camera gear and take my weekly trip to the shelter.

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Foundation Awards $17,000 in Latest Round of Innovation Grants

The Elmbrook Education Foundation strives to fund projects that show creativity and innovation in instruction with a potential to provide a District-wide impact in the future.  The EEF would like to congratulate the following applicants who will be receiving funding through the EEF's Innovation Grant Program to help bring their ideas to life! 

Patricia Pelzel (Assistive Technology Integrator, Dixon Elementary) will receive a grant award of $5424 to measure the benefits of using SOLO literacy software in the regular elementary classroom to determine if it should become universally accessible (available to any student at any time that can benefit from its use).  This software was previously reserved for students in the special education classrooms due to its ability to provide adaptations to support students with special needs as they develop their writing skills.  Studies have since proven benefits for struggling and average writing students in regular classrooms as well.  Providing access to the SOLO Literacy Software in the regular classroom would not only support the District’s objective to allow special education students to spend more time with their peers, it would provide additional support to other students who could benefit from its use. This 'pilot' will be conducted with a select group of elementary students in the 2nd semester of the 2010-11 school year.  Results will be measured against other control groups to determine its success.  This project will determine scalability of this type of product along with its recommended role in supporting the ELA curriculum for different student groups. Similar software (Kurzweil) is universally accessible at the secondary level. Results from the Elementary ‘SOLO pilot’ could have an impact on how Kurzweil is leveraged at the secondary level as well. The Foundation applauds Ms. Pelzel’s desire to leverage proven technologies to benefit other student groups.

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Santa paws: Last puppy leaves humane society

EBHS, Elmbrook Humane Society, puppies, Christmas

When 10 year-old Maddie Schlais met Minny, Maddie's mom had just one question.

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PetSmart, Brookfield, Greenfield, Elmbrook Humane Society, EBHS, Delafield, Nashotah, Butler, Elm Grove, Chenequa,

Santa Claws Photos at PetSmart!

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Adopting Is Only the Beginning

You’ve thought long and hard about adopting and you have finally reached a decision. You will adopt a new dog for Christmas. It will be fun for your family to have a new pet and you are giving a homeless pet a “forever home”.  But don’t forget, there is more to owning a pet than fun as you will see if you read:

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Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN, United States

Most people know there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free puppy. Someone always has to pay for the free lunch (which often has some strings attached for the diner), and the free puppy has all sorts of long term costs. But these two freebies pale in comparison to the entanglements involved in getting a free pony.

When my other half was a teen, he loved horses. (We both still do.) He rode any chance he got and helped at an area stable for riding privileges. Seeing this interest, his great uncle offered to buy him a horse of his own. Wow, that was quite a gift: a free horse!

But like the free lunch and free puppy, there isn't such a thing as a free horse either. Yes, the free horse would have been fun. It would have been nice to have. The son really wanted it. Yet his parents had to be the grownups and tell the generous uncle, no.

Why? Because they couldn't afford to board the free horse. The maintenance cost of a free horse for boarding and vet bills was just more than a family of seven's budget could support. Before you are too hard on the parents, in today's dollars, could your family afford a $500-$600 per month boarding fee? And what about the vet bills?

Sure, the boy could have worked off some of those costs by working at the stable, but that still has a cost associated with that work, since he wouldn't have the time to do chores at home or work for his spending money. The only fiscally responsible decision the parents could make was to give the free horse back.

And that was the only rational decision Wisconsin could make. Like the free horse, free high speed rail was not needed, it would benefit only a small percentage of the people, and it cost too much to maintain. Governor Elect Scott Walker had to be the grownup and say, no, to the uncle. However, unlike my husband's uncle, our Uncle Sam can't afford it.

Wisconsin isn't the only state with a grownup governor, Ohio's Governor Elect John Kasich also opposed high speed rail. So between Wisconsin and Ohio, $1.2 billion of free money was taken back by the Obama administration. The money should go back to pay down the US debt; instead it is going to 12 other states for their rail projects. And maybe that is why this take back occurred now, before legislation requiring the monies go back to the Federal Treasury could be passed next session.

"In a joint statement, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan wrote: 'We support Governor-elect Walker's effort to put the brakes on the high-speed rail budget boondoggle, which is why we introduced legislation, today, that would give states the ability to return federal funds obligated to high-speed rail projects, and instead use this money to reduce our nation's $1.6 trillion deficit and $13.8 trillion debt. This high-speed rail project is a bad investment for taxpayers and our state simply cannot afford it.' "

And how is the Milwaukee to Madison rail line in effect an anchor baby? Because it was the foot in the door. Like illegal alien anchor babies, the short Milwaukee/Madison run would do the same. (Babies born in the US to illegal aliens often are rationale to bring in the whole family.) Take a look.
We dodged a big budget deficit bullet here in Wisconsin by giving back the free pony (anchor baby) high-speed rail. The short Milwaukee to Madison line was just the beginning when you consider the size and scope of the whole proposed rail projects in the works for Wisconsin. (Map from Vicki McKenna 11-30-2010 post.)

See how additional rail lines to Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire/Minneapolis are outlined on the map?

If we are in doubt as to how we could afford the short 70 mile Milw./Madison run, how would we ever afford these?

We aren't out of the woods yet, the pro-trainers are not going to give up easily. Plus, Wisconsin's commuter line between Milwaukee and Chicago is still to get $2 million, but for now, at least we have one less thing to worry about.

More reading: Wis., Ohio high-speed rail money goes elsewhere
Use rail funds for deficit?

Past Posts: Email Aldermen & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward
STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train.


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In memory of Landis F. Knutson .....

Landis F. Knutson passed away on November 17, 2010 at the age of 80.  Services were held at the Community United Methodist Church in Elm Grove on November 21, 2010. Memorials were directed to the Elmbrook Education Foundation because of Landis’s passion for education and his impact within the Elmbrook School District as both a teacher and administrator. 

Landis began his career with the newly formed Elmbrook School District in 1955. Landis later served as an Assistant Principal at Pilgrim Park Middle School alongside Irv Hoesly who served as Principal from 1966-1985.  Landis and Irv were close friends during their tenure with Elmbrook.  Irv recently passed away as well (please see related story).

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SMART Response Campaign Complete! THANK YOU!!!!

In the fall of 2009, the Elmbrook Education Foundation embarked on a campaign to deliver SMART Response Assessment Units to all middle school math classrooms at both Wisconsin Hills and Pilgrim Park Middle Schools.  Thanks to community support, the last 3 units are now on order which means all math classrooms will have the benefit of this technology to kick off the 2nd semester of the 2010-11 school year.

The Middle School SMART Response Grant represents the 2nd cycle of the Foundation's District-wide Super Grant Program.  The first Super Grant cycle was directed towards technology initiatives at BEHS and BCHS back in 2008.  Please refer to the related link on this project later in this post for details.

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Pepino's in Brookfield is closed


Pepino's, a longtime pizza restaurant and bar on W. Capitol Dr. in Brookfield, is closed and is in danger of losing its liquor license, according to City Clerk Kristine Schmidt.

The restaurant has been closed for about three weeks, Schmidt said. City ordinances allow Brookfield to pull the liquor license when an establishment has been closed for 30 days.

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New Plato's Closet opening in Brookfield

Plato's Closet

Plato's Closet, the teen resale franchise chain, will open a store in February in the Brookfield Fashion Center on W. Blue Mound Road.

It will be the second teen resale shop on Blue Mound Road and the second Plato's Closet in the metro area. The first Plato's Closet opened this summer in Greenfield. 

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