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Family Storytime Wednesday, December 5th

Gingerbread, Sweets and Feasts:  Stories about Food

Family Storytime
Wednesday, December 5th
6:30 – 7:15 p.m.

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Tosa's Toubl a real class act

Tosa East Baseball

Once given a choice between baseball and staying married, Wauwatosa East baseball coach Jerry Toubl picked baseball. Anyone associated with Red Raider baseball over the years was happy he took the latter.

Toubl officially hung up his spikes last week - and a detailed cover story which will be in the Dec. 6 issue of WauwatosaNow. But here's a quick behind the look scenes of how hard it was for the likeable coach to step down.

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Seeing Red

Red walls: We find them. We love them. We stare at them. And then we figure out a way to photograph them.

I wrapped up my Christmas Carol project downtown with a few backstage photos and some before-the-show action during a matinee performance, put on for students who were bussed in from all over the state. Within a half-hour before the curtain was raised, hundreds of students jumped off their school buses and mechanically rushed up the stairs to fill nearly every seat of Pabst Theater.

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What's the point? Everything in basketball.

Prep Basketball

They run the show. The game goes through their hands 90 per cent of the time. In the final seconds, the ball better touch their hands or your team could be in trouble.

We're talking about point guards, folks, and a quick look into the local scene shows for the most part, the area schools are in pretty good shape.

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Winter Wonderland Family Storytime January 2nd

Winter Wonderland Family Storytime

Wednesday, January 2nd
6:30 – 7:15 p.m.

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Brookfield, Tosa cross-town rivalries different

Prep Basketball, Tosa East, Tosa West

With Brookfield Central traveling over to Brookfield East for a basketball doubleheader on Friday, Dec. 14 - the girls at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30 p.m., I figured now would be a good time to bring up something that's been on my mind since I've been covering Brookfield and Wauwatosa the past six years.

Cross-town rivalries in these two cities are really different.

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I'm on vacation!

Yup, it's true ... I have the week off, and I couldn't be happier. As much as I sweet-talk my Hyundai, I cannot get her to play nice in the snow. It's a good thing I'm avoiding the miles this week. As I dug my car out from underneath the wintry mess this morning, my mom said to me, "Ahhh, it's nice out!" I suppose she's right ... there's no icicles forming on my eyelashes ... yet.

Safe Food for the Holidays

Food Safety

What would the holidays be without food --- and lots of it???

For many families, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's (and maybe a Packer's Super Bowl this year!) involves more "get-togethers", cooking, and eating than any other time of the year.  We hope food safety is a part of your holiday planning from start to finish.

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Nigerian Scam

Crime Prevention, Scam

  Unfortunately many people of various socio-economical backgrounds fall victim to scams. I am the first to admit I am no expert as to what is happening in today’s world as it relates to scams. That being said, a colleague of mine, Officer Joel Dhein of the Glendale, WI Police Department is a bit more versed on this topic than I am. Officer Dhein hosts a weekly podcast called "Police On The Scene With A Crime Prevention Lean". Recently Officer Dhein called South Africa regarding a popular Nigerian Scam. Please go to, on the right hand side you will see what looks like a green MP3 player, click on episode 87 and it will play right in that window.

 An upfront warning, this is about a 15 minute audio presentation and you will have to listen very closely, maybe even rewinding some portions of the audio because of the other persons heavy accent.


New library hours for 2008

Beginning with Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 the Library will reopen on Thursday mornings at 10:00 AM.

We had been opening at 1:00 PM but now we will be able to serve everyone in the morning as well.

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Holiday Safety Tip

Crime Prevention, Holiday Safety, Safety

   New gifts soon to be open; smiling faces, wishes fulfilled, surprises made. And, if you are not careful an advertisement to the bad guys as to the new goodies received at your household. Yes, if you leave those computer, television and game console boxes at the curb the bad guys can see which house may have the best pay off for their effort.

   If you are ready to discard the box, break it down and then cut it up before putting it into the new recycling carts. Better yet, break them down and make a run to the City yards with the boxes. No need to advertise your goodies to the bad guys.

Police Reserves Surprise Patients At Children's Hospital

Police Reserves

On Thursday December 13, 2007 at 6:15pm it may have looked like a police raid on Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa as six Wauwatosa Police Reserve Officers and two Officers from the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division walked from the parking structure, across the skywalk and into a game room on the 4th floor. It wasn't a raid, but a planned visit. A visit that brought the Police Reserves in uniform bearing stuffed animals, t-shirts, glow bracelets and Junior Police Officer badges.

Many children made their way to the game room to meet with the Officers, talk about what a Police Officer does and of course to get loaded up with some goodies. After visiting with the ambulatory kids in the game room the Officers made their way to the day surgery pods visiting bed sides, posing for pictures and chatting about everything from favorite foods to the best video games. The nurses on duty got into the act by donning glow bracelets and Junior Officer Badges right along with the kids.But the Reserve Officers were not done yet, onward and upward to the 5th floor to meet even more patients. From room to room the Officers were met by smiling boys and girls of all ages, appreciative family and supportive staff. For nearly an hour it was a flurry of high fives, hugs and hand shakes as the blue polyester uniformed men and women went from room to room. Stuffed animals were traded for stories, smiles and thumbs up; badges and glow bracelets for promises of being good. Then it was time to go, visiting hours were over and that applied to our group of Officers as well. As we were escorted out by Child Life personnel they commented that our visit was much appreciated and the kids loved every minute of the time we spent. I am sure that was the case, but I know for a fact that the people who benefited the most from the visit were us. Let me talk about bravery. Yes, our Reserve Officers and regular Officers are a brave bunch, but true bravery was seen at Children's Hospital. It was seen in the staff providing treatment, the families facing up to the realities of their child's illnesses and by the patients who fought the pain and smiled, laughed and talked with us. During our unofficial debriefing back at the Wauwatosa Police Department the Officers shared stories about who they met and some conversations they shared. To a man and woman, this was a trip well worth while, everyone admitting to choking back tears. 

A special THANK YOU to Jill Wiench a Child Life Specialist, Elizabeth the Child Life Intern and our own Wauwatosa Police Reserve Officer Ken Harris who until recently worked on the 5th floor for seven years as a Pediatric RN. We all hope this is the beginning of a strong partnership.    

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The Pile Driver, It should be banned. It is banned in some states!

Prep wrestling

Those words were my first introduction to wrestling as I remember watching it on TV with my Nana Skibosh.

Roger Kent, the regular TV announcer, would always say that same line whenever a wrestler - usually the villain - put that dangerous move on his opponent. It consisted of turning your opponent upside down, facing you, putting his head between your knees (ugh) and then while holding him tight to your chest, you would drop to your knees, slamming his head into the mat and knocking him out.

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Sprinting on wheels

It never ceases to amaze me how graciously people will let photojournalists into their lives. We see people at their worst and we see them at their best. We see people’s perfections as well as their imperfections. We, as photojournalists, are awarded the opportunity to live an accelerated lifestyle – we witness things that otherwise, we’d never take the time or effort to understand.

Last night, I spent an hour with a local teenage wheelchair basketball team. The kids — including Becca Murray, Katy Bralick, Matt Bralick, Rachel Nepper and Hayden Jones — are headed to a national competition at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in January. After high school graduation, a few of the kids may go on to play wheelchair basketball at the college level.

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Crime Alert 12-20-07

Crime Alert

Recently there have been some burglaries, primarily in the northwest portion of the City. It seems that large screen TV's and small electronic items are the target of the burglaries.

A late 1990's to early 2000's Ford Explorer, black in color with deeply tinted windows has been seen in the area of some of the burglaries. The most recent sighting of the Explorer had two black males, one wearing a light colored baseball cap as occupants. If you should see a vehicle matching this description, any other supicious vehicles, person or activities you are asked to notify the Wauwatosa Police Department immediately by dialing 414-471-8430.

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South Milwaukee Public Library Happenings

On behalf of the South Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees and Staff I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday.

Library holiday hours:  Closed Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25 and Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1.  The Library will reopen at 9:30 am on Wednesday, December 26 and January 2.

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Sledding Season!

Rain mixed with snow mixed with fog is not what we consider "ideal shooting conditions." Lenses fog up and our cameras get wet. That said, it's a good thing most photographers could shoot today's assignment with their eyes closed: Children sledding. I spent some time today near the golf course at Whitnall Park, Hales Corners. I love seeing how the atmosphere of the park changes within just a few short months. I shot the second photo below from nearly the exact same location no more than a month and a half ago.

As the weather changes, a problem photographers sometime encounter is foggy lenses. The key to avoiding fogged lenses is to make sure the camera is kept at about the same temperature as the outside air. Obviously, this isn't always possible. Taking a warm camera into a cold environment can cause fogging inside the lens. The opposite problem was often true when I was shooting down in Florida — If I had to take a cold (air-conditioned) camera into a warm, humid environment, my camera sometimes needed a few minutes to adjust to the outside air temperature and humidity levels before I was able to start shooting. Fog on the camera lens prevents you first from seeing your subject, and second, from focusing correctly. A small price to pay, though, for the chance to witness all four seasons.

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South Milwaukee Public Library News

On behalf of the South Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees and the Staff I would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. The Library will be closed on Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1.  We will reopen on Wednesday at 9:30 am and resume our normal schedule. Registration for the winter story time session begins on January 2nd.  Story time will begin on Tuesday, January 15th at 10:30 am.  This year we will have only one session of story time as the attendance has declined for the afternoon sessions. This year we will do a Monday evening family story time.  It will be held on the second Monday of each month-January through May.  There will be stories by Miss Denise and other activities.  The first one will be Monday, January 14 at 6:30 PM. Bids have been awarded to replace the 44 year old air conditioning unit at the library.  The new unit is expected to be in operation by March.  The new unit will be much more energy efficient. We are advertising for an evening page.  This person must be 18 years old or older and a South Milwaukee resident.  The evening pages work 16 hours per week and every other Saturday.  Apply at the reference or circulation desk.  Applications must be completed in the library. Each year the Library sponsors the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. read in.  Volunteers from the community go into the fourth grades of the public and private schools and read a book on civil rights.  The volunteers select books from a collection prepared by the Youth Services Library.  This year the read in will be held the week of January 21.  Anyone interested should contact the Youth Services Librarian at 768-8195, ext. 3 Our first Monday book sale will be held on Monday, January 7th from 9:30-11 am.  In the event of a snow storm or library closed, the Book Cellar will be closed. Enjoy talking about books.  The Thursday afternoon book club meetings the second Thursday of each month at 1 pm.  Call the reference desk to find out which book they are currently reading. The South Milwaukee Public Library will continue to accept reserves on DVD’s, VHS tapes and music CD’s from anywhere in the county.  South Milwaukee residents will no longer be able to reserve the above items from the Milwaukee Public Library.  They will, however, be able to go to the Milwaukee Public Library agencies and check out those items.  PLEASE, if you reserve something and no longer want it, call the library to cancel your reserve.  This is a very expensive service. 

Sick at Six

New Berlin

Yesterday afternoon, I learned a little more about cystic fibrosis ... from a 6-year-old. Below, Abby Brinker (center), 6, of New Berlin, gets a hug from her best friend, Natalie Lichtenhahn, 8, while listening to Abby's new iPod. Abby, who has cystic fibrosis, was granted a birthday wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation — she and her family spent a few days at the Kalahari Indoor Water Park, Wisconsin Dells. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that causes mucus to build up and clog some of the organs in the body, particularly in the lungs and pancreas.

People oftentimes ask me whether I have the capability to shoot black and white with my digital camera. All of my files are shot in color, but with the click of a button in our photo-editing program, Photoshop, I can change any photo to grayscale. I chose to change these photos to black and white because sometimes, I think black and white gives photos a certain consistency that color cannot provide. Bright and distracting colors can take away from the moment we're trying to convey within the photo.

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Some cold-winter-day assignments are worth losing the ability to feel your fingers.

Crystal Kids, a Saturday ski-camp designed to teach kids how to ski, is held weekly at Crystal Ridge Ski Area, Franklin.

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