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Registration for Winter Storytimes Begins Monday, January 7th




(Ages 2s and 3s)

Thursdays 10:30 a.m. or Fridays 10:30 a.m.

January 10 – February 1

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Check Out the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line

Tobacco Cessation

Just in case you missed the Great American Smokeout in November, there is still the opportunity of a New Year's Resolution to quit smoking or encourage someone you love to quit.  Traditionally, people who smoke think about quitting at this time of year and now there is the added incentive of the $1.00 increase in the state tax on tobacco.  Although quitting smoking can be very challenging, the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line has just made it a little easier!

Beginning January 1st, Wisconsin residents who call the Quit Line for coaching can receive a FREE two-week starter kit of quit-smoking medications (either nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges) that will be mailed directly to their home.  This is in addition to the free assistance that a Quit Line coach provides during four phone calls if the caller requests.  Also, there is a new Web coaching service designed to work hand-in-hand with the phone-based Quit Line.  Between phone calls, tobacco users are encouraged to log on to build quit plans, track their progress, and interact with quit coaches and other smokers.  All services offered by the Quit Line are nonjudgmental and confidential.  The Quit Line is available from 7 AM to 11 PM seven days a week and coaches fluent in many languages are availble.  Take a moment now and call 1-800 QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit the website at 

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Scams Are Alive And Well


We continue to receive complaints from residents who are being scammed out of their personal information and in some cases money. Scam artists remain persistent and are getting inventive in their approach. One constant remains however; unknowing victims are cooperating with those doing the scamming by responding to their suspicious solicitations. Scam artists are becoming more popular and the reason is simple. Technology is making it very easy to get information to large groups of people, or in this case potential victims. Whether using e-mail, conventional mail, or the telephone, mass communication is easier than ever.  As mentioned earlier, the one constant in many of these incidents is the cooperation of the victim. The typical scenario goes like this… A victim receives an automated telephone call from a scam artist claiming to be their bank. The message states that there has been an issue with the victim’s bank account and they need to call a toll free number to clarify the issue. Upon calling the toll free number the victim is prompted to enter a variety of information including; social security number, bank account number, and date of birth. Once the victim has entered their personal information the call is ended and the victim has effectively been scammed.  How can something like this happen? Very easily. By posing as a major bank they scammer is sure to find legitimate bank customers in the area. By contacting many people through mass calling systems, a percentage of those called will fall for the scam.  Similar scams occur via the U.S. Mail, through e-mail, and through in person telephone calls. Because many of these scam artists operate in different states and even different countries, prosecution is difficult. Therefore the best approach to these types of scams is prevention. Here are some things to consider: 
  • A financial institution will never solicit you for information they already have. If you do receive a solicitation regarding an existing account contact your local bank using an existing telephone number or stop by in person.
  • Never give out your personal information unless you are dealing with a legitimate financial institution who you have done business with in the past.
Written by Patrol Specialist II Paul Leist, Wauwatosa Police Department 


New Berlin

To my loyal photo blog readers my mother:

I apologize, I've been slacking on photo updates this week. I'm glad you're still lurking around my blog; it's so nice to see you and welcome back!

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National Radon Action Month

Environmental Health

January is National Radon Action Month as designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  So this is as good a time as any to evaluate your exposure risk to radon.  In addition to learning more about radon and spreading the word about what you have learned, it is recommended that you test your home, buy a radon resistant home if moving, and attend a National Radon Action Month event in your community.

There has been a fair amount of publicity about radon exposure in recent years so we may have a vague familiarity with the term.  However, since radon is the first leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, it would benefit all of us to become better informed and act on our new understanding.

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Uhh ... Louiseana?


I spend a lot of time watching other people's kids. And I don't mean babysitting. I mean, staring.

Kids are great. When I tell them to ignore me, they actually do. Children accept the presence of a "really big camera" far better than adults. I sat in on a Geography Bee this afternoon at Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin. An incredibly easy assignment ... something I'd consider, free smiles.

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A Backstage Pass


I'm a sucker for wandering backstage.

As photojournalists, we're given the opportunity to see moments audience members oftentimes may miss. A few days back, I was assigned to photograph the rehearsal for a Winter Concert recital, held at the Muskego High School Performing Arts Center. I walked in the front door and sat down with the audience for a few minutes. I found my way to the front row and shot a few different angles of the kids singing on stage. After about a half hour, my frustration was getting to me. I had one or two "decent" shots, but nothing I was proud of. I decided it was time to move on to my next assignment, so I gathered up my gear and slipped out the side door. But as I was leaving, I glanced backstage and saw some great moments happening — the teachers were helping some of the children with their hand motions. They were encouraging the kids to sing louder and pay close attention to the director.

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McGruff Houses Needed

Child Safety, Crime Prevention


A McGruff House is a temporary haven for children who find themselves in emergency or frightening situations such as being bullied, followed, or hurt while walking in a neighborhood.


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Gym light


Considering the camera body I use (a Nikon D2H), some gymnasiums allow me to shoot available light, while others do not. If I enter a high school gymnasium with adequate available light and a high place for me to stand, it's a good night. I shot a couple basketball assignments in Franklin a few nights back. The first was a free throw competition and the second was a girls' varsity basketball game. I shot the varsity game at f2.8, 1/250 of a second, ISO 500. The free throw competition was mostly the same lighting conditions, excepting I slowed the shutter speed down to 1/200 of a second.


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News Never Sleeps

Franklin, New Berlin

As a way of enforcing my curfew during the high school and college years, my dad once said to me, “Nothing good ever happens past midnight.”

I wish he could have been by my side Wednesday night.

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A Brick Chicken House

New Berlin

“I’m so depressed,” said Bob Bakic, owner of New Berlin’s Moorland Auto Repair, Inc. Tuesday afternoon, speaking of the Packers’ NFC Championship loss to the New York Giants this past weekend.

No worries Bob, you’re not alone. I’m pretty certain the entire state of Wisconsin had an awful case of the Mondays following Sunday’s game.

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A Message From The President Of The Wisconsin State Crime Stoppers Organization

Crime Stoppers

A Message From The President Of The Wisconsin State Crime Stoppers Organization

by K. Scott Abrams, CPA


How Did I Get Here?

Can you think back to the last Olympics and the opening ceremonies? Even as you watched the event on television as all the athletes gather from around the world and circle around the track representing their various countries, a chill runs down your spine at the awe and inspiration surrounding the event. The athletes walk purposefully and with pride behind their national flag. They are not only representing themselves, but everyone in their country. Now I know that I will never participate in the Olympics as an athlete. But I recently participated in a ceremony that gave me as much pride and honor as an Olympic athlete. Recently, I was elected by the Crime Stoppers USA to serve as one of our three representatives on the Crime Stoppers International (CSI) board of directors. Even though I serve as the Treasurer for Crime Stoppers USA already, I was both honored and humbled to achieve this position. The CSI board of directors is comprised of 15 members whereby three members represent each of the five nation/regions around the world. To sit around the board table and look at the other members from around the world and knowing we are all working towards the same goal in combating crime in our communities is an incredible feeling. The CSI annual meeting and training conference took place this past November in Bermuda. This small island put on a conference beyond description. Every Crime Stoppers representative in attendance was made to feel like an honored dignitary throughout the entire conference. The views from the hotel were breathtaking since every hotel room had a view of the ocean. There were a wide variety of topics discussed regarding Crime Stompers around the world and all the conference speakers were superb. To kick off the week of the conference, there was a spectacular opening ceremony. Due to its British influence, Bermuda invokes much pomp and circumstance in many of their activities. The CSI opening ceremony was no exception! I was honored to participate in the opening ceremony by representing our country. The two other CSI United States representatives were Elaine Cloyd, President of Crime Stoppers USA and Kevin Viney, a Crime Stopper USA board member at large, who is also a member of the Madison Area Crime Stoppers. The USA flag was the first to enter the auditorium. It was exciting but with a little anxiety that we awaited our entrance. As our country and our names were announced to the audience, we made our entrance. I walked with purpose, I walked with pride. I was representing our country and that was representing you, all the other Crime Stoppers in the US. It wasn't the Olympics, but it had to be second best. As I stepped up to the stage and took my place, I watched with awe as the other countries were introduced and honored in a similar fashion representing their countries as well. It was at that time that I reflected back; how did I get here? I have spent over 25 years on various boards, serving in numerous capacities in almost every imaginable position for Crime Stoppers organizations. And even though there is very hard and meaningful work involved, many long hours required and difficult issues to resolve, it is most gratifying to see that Crime Stoppers has, and is, making a difference around the world. I have received back many times more in gratification than what I have given. I am honored to serve as a Crime Stoppers board member and represent our country. We have a unique opportunity next year as the Crime Stoppers International annual meeting and training conference is going to be hosted in a Midwestern city. The training conference is set to take place in Des Moines, Iowa on August 6 -- 9, 2008. This will provide the opportunity to meet with over 19 different countries involved in Crime Stoppers from around the world. The proximity to our state should make it an easy access to participate in the 2008 CSI event. But if you're interested in attending, you best make your plans soon because the Iowa State Fair is taking place at about the same time and hotel rooms may go fast. Please visit the CSI website at for more information on the conference and accommodations in Des Moines. Let's make sure Wisconsin is well represented next year at the 2008 CSI annual meeting and training conference!    

Playing Spiderwoman

Hales Corners

I don't have wings, but I spend a lot of time climbing and crawling with my camera in hand. Although, the photos below didn't require any climbing or crawling whatsoever. My feet never left the ground.

I used a simple and common technique we call the "Hail Mary." This technique involves holding the camera over my head and shooting "blind." (I was standing on an indoor running track built on the second floor of the gymnasium.) You oftentimes see sports photographers doing the Hail Mary when shooting post-game celebrations. Not too many of us are 7 feet tall, thus, this technique offers a view from up top. Sometimes, I use the Hail Mary to clean up my backgrounds. Digital photography allows shooters to do this and instantly receive feedback on the backs of our cameras.

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Let's Get Active

Healthy Lifestyles

Now that the holidays are over and the New Year's Resolution to get active and improve our health has been made (and let's hope not discarded!), it's time to get serious about it.  Everything we read nowadays stresses the importance of including activity in our daily lives if we want to be healthy and live longer.  We just need to move more.  But HOW do we do it and stick with it?  And what if we don't like to exercise?  Can we really change our behavior for the better?

According to Dr. Josh Klapow of the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, in addition to having information and motivation, individuals must have a core set of behavior change skills in order to sustain lasting change.  This skill set is something all of us can develop and use to our benefit and fits under the acronym of SMART.

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Crime Alert 01/25/08

Crime Alert

The following is an email written by Kathy Ehly who is the Interim Executive Director of the Wauwatosa BID. These are her comments, but as a crime prevention officer  I support them and her tone completely. The incidents took place during the early afternoon hours of Thursday 01-24-08. The suspect in these cases is a white female, heavy set, in her 20's with brown hair. She was last seen wearing dark blue jeans, a pink top, brown jacket and a cream scarf.

 Kathy's email:

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South Milwaukee Public Library activities

The South Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, Inc. is conducting a silent auction.  Stop in and see the items that are available for bidding.  The auction will run from Thursday, January 23 through Saturday, February 9th.  Stop in often to check on your bid.  The winning bids will be notified on Monday, February 11th.  All donations are tax deductible.

The library has the popular federal and state tax forms.  Forms not available at the library can be obtained from the IRS and Wisconsin Department of Revenue web sites.

Remember the next Monday morning book sale will be on February 4, 2008.  Stop in and see the bargains.

Our next Monday night family story time will be Monday, February 11 starting at 6:30 pm. Bring the whole family for a great night of stories and games.  Registration not required.

Hey kids!  There still is time to register for the Milwaukee Bucks Reading Challenge program.  Read 500 pages and you get a voucher for a free ticket to the Milwaukee Bucks basketball game.  Hurry though, the program ends on February 22.

Looking for something to do this winter?  The library has a display of books and videos on winter sports.  Learn how to ski or ice skate.

Winter is a great time to think about those home decorating projects.  The check out the library’s collection of home decorating ideas.

A big thanks to all those who volunteered to read to the 4th graders in the public and private schools as part of the library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. read in.

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, February 19th.  Check out the library collection of books by the candidates.


The Incredible Ned


When I tell people I'm a photojournalist, visions of car wrecks and courthouse photos come to the forefronts of their minds. Most people don't realize the bread and butter of community journalism is everyday happenings, such as high school sports and ... babies and books.

I was smiling to myself during this assignment at the Franklin Public Library, mostly because of the name of the book, "The Incredible Ned." My younger brother's name is Ned — my father named him after Milwaukee Brewers Manager Ned Yost — and without any knowledge of the existence of this book, we've always called him, The Incredible Ned. I showed these photos to Ned's fiancé and told her, "It seems as though you aren't the only girl enamored by The Incredible Ned." She replied, "I am going to be waiting for her at the bike racks ... "

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Love Your Heart

Heart Health

Friday, February 1, 2008, is National Wear Red Day.  This day is set aside to increase awareness about women and heart disease -- the #1 killer of women.   Think about it:  one in every three women dies of cardiovascular disease.   By wearing red, you can support the fight against heart disease and make a promise to yourself to love your heart by living a healthy lifestyle.  Fortunately, many risk factors of heart disease can be reduced by the choices you make in your everyday life. 

The American Heart Association offers an approach to preventing heart disease, stroke, and heart attack that can be as simple as the ABCs if you make a commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle.  And it need not be too difficult to achieve positive results.

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Storytime Sessons for ages 3, 4 and 5 begin February 5



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