Sushi restaurant may lease building formerly occupied by Future Green

October 31, 2011

Brian Park and Ald. Tony Zielinski inside building that may house new sushi restaurant.

Brian Park (right) may bring a sushi restaurant to Bay View in 2012. He hopes to lease 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. The building is owned by Lisa and Swee Sim, who operated Future Green in the space until August. Park owns Wasabi Sushi & Lounge in Brookfield. He said he wants to bring superior quality sushi to Bay View and that he plans to serve Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s specialty beers and ales. He is also considering creating a Zen garden in the existing patio area behind the building. In order to make the deal work, he said he’s seeking assistance from the city of Milwaukee. District 14 Alderman Tony Zielinski (left) said he’s looking into a façade grant and the Retail Investment Fund (RIF) to assist Park, who hopes to open the restaurant by March. The Sims are represented by real estate broker Tim Dertz.

Barricades on Smith Street moved after resident complains

October 31, 2011

By Sarah McCraw

Looking north at Howell Avenue where Smith Street intersects it. —photo Katherine Keller

A traffic issue at a construction area in Bay View was addressed by city officials after a resident noticed problems for drivers.

Faythe Levine, who lives near Smith Street and Howell Avenue, wrote a letter to 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski about traffic problems caused by the orange barricades and detour signs set up at the intersection.

The barricades at Smith and Howell are part of a paving project one block north at E. Lincoln Avenue, which has closed Howell Avenue to through-traffic between Smith and Lincoln.

In her letter, Levine explained that cars heading south on Howell Avenue are hard to see for drivers heading west on Smith Street due to the placement of the barricades. And she noticed some cars heading north on Howell Avenue drive into the oncoming lane in order to get around the barriers, instead of taking the detour listed.

While no traffic crashes were witnessed by Levine, she wrote that she noticed “a lot of smashed car debris on the side of the road” by the nearby gas station and voiced her concerns in hopes of preventing any injuries from happening.

Zielinski responded by contacting the Department of Public Works. “Anytime we’re talking about pedestrian or driver safety, it’s important,” he said. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

A DPW official then went to the construction site. “A field trip to the Lincoln Avenue construction site shows no evidence of any one-way streets,” said DPW’s Geri Schmidt. “The sign at Howell and Smith [reads] ‘Road Closed, Local Traffic Only,’ with right construction arrows directing traffic to S. Kinnickinnic Avenue. It is the responsibility of traffic on Smith Street to obey the stop signs for east and west traffic,” Schmidt said.

Lynn Des Jardins, a DPW construction inspector, added that the only complaint about the construction she has heard is that Howell Avenue is closed to through-traffic. No accidents have been reported to her. “I think the problem was that the drivers at the stop sign, especially westbound, couldn’t see around the barricades,” Des Jardins said.

So DPW officials spoke with construction workers and asked them to place the street signs in a more suitable place for drivers. “I had the barricades moved to the curb lane only, so that drivers on Smith will better see southbound traffic,” Des Jardins said.

Schmidt also took action. “I spoke to the paving contractor on Lincoln Avenue and informed him to make sure the signs on Smith Street are turned away from traffic when construction allows and during non-working hours.”

According to Des Jardins, crews continue to make progress with the paving project at Howell and Lincoln avenues. Pavement at the islands and the north side of the intersection has been removed, relocated, and re-poured. There’s no word on when the project is expected to be completed or when Howell Avenue is expected to reopen to through-traffic.

Wind turbine groundbreaking in Bay View November 3

October 31, 2011

November 3
Wind turbine groundbreaking.
10:30am at Port Administration Building, 2323 S. Lincoln Memorial Dr. After groundbreaking, Mayor Barrett will kick off city’s Green Team Report-back event at Lake Express terminal across the street. Open to public.

Wild Workouts & Wellness opens in Avalon

October 31, 2011

By Staff Writer

One of the top female racewalkers in the United States opened a new gym in the Avalon Theatre building in May.

Business owner Amber Budahn didn’t put a sign up right away to advertise her 650-square-foot holistic health center, Wild Workouts & Wellness. But she said business kept increasing by word-of-mouth, resulting in the need to hire a second trainer, Carla Losin.

“Our workout programs are designed to maximize your time in the gym to get you the body you want without wasting your time,” Budahn said. “Many of our members lose five to 12 pounds of fat in 30 days.”

Each client works out an individualized exercise and nutrition program emphasizing lifestyle change, including a focus on sleep and minimizing stress.

There are no machines at Budahn’s gym. All workouts are done using dumbbells, kettlebells, and body resistance.

Many prefer to work out as a group. “Going it alone is hard,” Budahn said. “So, our group workouts have you working out with like-minded peers along with a fitness coach pushing you and motivating you beyond what you could ever do on your own—so you can make sure every day is a good day.” She also offers running and triathlon programs. She and about 15 others are headed to Texas in February for a two-day running event.

Budahn earned her double-major in biology and chemistry with a pre-health emphasis from UW-Parkside in 2003. She ran in college and tried out for the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympic racewalking teams. She never competed in an Olympics but while training out in Chula Vista, Calif., Budahn discovered her passion for personal training while working in a local gym.

Budahn is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), holds an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification in personal training, and is a CHEK Institute-certified holistic lifestyle coach.

She previously owned Andaré Fitness in St. Francis, and also did personal training at people’s homes and in rented spaces.

Wild Workouts & Wellness

2469 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Hours: By class appointment (414) 364-0181

The Hissom Report

October 31, 2011

By Doug Hissom

Uncertainty for taverns over concealed firearms

With the state allowing people to carry concealed weapons effective Nov. 1, some tavern owners and other businesses are still confused as to what exactly their options are if they want to keep patrons from bringing guns into their establishments.

The Milwaukee Common Council passed a resolution urging bars to ban guns, but as of mid-October, offered no signs for bars to post that would inform customers of the new rule, nor any guidance for handling gun-toters in their establishments.

Governor Scott Walker signed the bill legalizing concealed carry in July, but with the start date looming, questions were still unanswered. As of the end of September the state Department of Justice hadn’t even decided how to implement training programs so people can get a permit.

Some bar owners wondered what their authority was in keeping guns off their premises.

“The police told me they didn’t know how they were going to enforce any sort of ban I’d want in my business,” one tavern owner told me.

State law does say that if gun holders have a gun at a bar they are not allowed to drink alcohol. The gun holder is not supposed to be intoxicated, either. It’s a misdemeanor if a person is drunk with a gun.

Jason Wedesky, president of the Kinnickinnic Avenue Business Improvement District, said the topic hasn’t been brought up at any BID meetings so far. The BID has not offered any advice to its members either, he said.

According to state law, signs outlawing guns on private property must be posted conspicuously at public entrances and be at least five-by-seven inches. Signs can be found from online stores for about $30, but some artwork can be printed for free.

The city of Milwaukee has banned concealed weapons in all city-owned buildings. Milwaukee County has banned weapons in county buildings as well. The law doesn’t allow bans in places such as the zoo or other public outdoor spaces like parks. In October Milwaukee County proposed to ban weapons on board its buses.

Tavern owners are pretty much unanimous in their desire to ban concealed weapons because of the common sense logic that alcohol and firearms are a deadly combination.

Of course, there has always been the possibility that a bar patron was packing heat, but the new law implies they should now feel comfortable in doing so.

Bar owners have a tougher enforcement issue than other businesses, given that patrons could be intoxicated and volatile if asked to leave their weapon outside. State law does say that if gun holders have a gun at a bar they are not allowed to drink alcohol. The gun holder is not supposed to be intoxicated, either. It’s a misdemeanor if a person is drunk with a gun. Otherwise it’s a trespassing charge with up to a $1,000 fine if a business owner calls police when a person is carrying a gun into a business that has banned them.

But it’s a sticky situation for any bartender to be sure.

“Enforcement is difficult. Any sense that a patron is trespassing with a gun, or, if permitted to carry on premises, takes a drink, justifies a call to police,” according to advice from the Milwaukee Department of Public Works according to 14th District Alderman Tony Zielinski.

“There’s none greater danger than the potential and reality of the mixture of alcohol and guns,” Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs told the Common Council. Coggs authored the resolution urging taverns to ban guns, which passed Sept. 20 with one abstention and one opposed.

Alderman Bob Donovan said he abstained because he didn’t want to send a message to tavern owners that not posting no-gun signs would come back to “haunt” them when their licenses are up for renewal. Alderman Joe Dudzik voted against the tavern resolution and against banning guns from city buildings. He said if the law allows people to carry guns, they should be allowed to carry guns. The overriding issue for him is self-protection.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin hasn’t sent out advice to its members on how barkeeps should handle concealed carry, unlike when the state banned smoking in taverns two years ago. The Tavern League website still has links dealing with the smoking ban but lists nothing for concealed carry issues. That’s likely reflective of the spilt on the issue when it comes to pro-gun and anti-gun opinions.

Disclosure — Doug Hissom tends bar in Bay View.

Mom, it’s complicated

October 31, 2011

My daughter and her friends routinely share snacks at the playground, but I faltered one day when the kids got hungry. I told the playmate, “You can have some crackers if it’s okay with your, um…go ask if it’s okay.”

I didn’t know how to refer to his father’s girlfriend, and wanted to keep in line with their chosen terminology.

I seem to live in a bubble where most of my interactions are with traditional households. I get linguistically tripped up when the pattern changes. But I can’t be the only one.

Delivery room nurses have surely known for a few years that many children are not entering into the world with a mom and dad in the traditional roles of a married couple living together. And the traditional roles of employed dad supporting a homemaker mother eroded decades ago.

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, almost 37 percent of American children live with nontraditional families. Hence the rise of terms like “baby daddy,” one I’ve heard in jest but never heard uttered in sincerity.

I was chatting with a child at a mall recently when I referred to her dad. “Oh, we don’t go to his house,” she replied. The exchange left me feeling like I needed to get with it.

Then there’s my coworker who calls himself a “step dad” but seems to avoid using the words “step children.”

So, faced with a multiplicity of family types, which aren’t steady year to year, what’s the solution?

Being careful doesn’t have to mean an overload of political correctness. We could ask the child for advice. After all, if they’re old enough, children ought to know what they call the folks in their family, however it’s structured. Then we’re respecting everybody in the slightly awkward situation.

Of course, the question could be answered with a blank stare or a roll of the eyes.

Saying the right thing isn’t always easy.

The author is a freelance writer and mother of one. Reach her with comments or suggestions at

Bluff collapse at We Energies power plant in Oak Creek

October 31, 2011

See WISN’s coverage here.

Read our story about Lake Michigan bluff erosion and failure here.

Jeremiah Wood Finishing Supplies opens in Bay Viw

October 31, 2011

By Compass Staff

Did you know that shellac, once widely used to finish hardwood floors, is a secretion from tropical insects? Bay View’s David Tatarowicz knows, and he also knows the synthetic products that can substitute for it.

The furniture expert opened Jeremiah Wood Finishing Supplies this past summer in 1,000 square feet in Steve Ste. Marie’s Maytag Laundromat building at the southeast corner of Homer and KK. Jeremiah specializes in paints, stains, lacquers, aerosols, and glazes—any products that finish or repair wood and leather.

Jeremiah caters to small businesses, contractors, restorers, hobbyists, and is also open to the public for retail sales. “Although we do handle paint, our focus is on wood finishes of all types,” Tatarowicz said. Jeremiah has over 3,000 supplies on hand.

“Home Depot and Menards have about a dozen different colors. Right on hand in our show room, we have 30 colors, and we can also custom order a color.”

Tatarowicz said his three sales reps, two of whom have a combined 70 years of experience refinishing furniture, are a great resource for small furniture makers. A new furniture maker in Madison called him recently for advice. “He told me that making furniture is easier than finishing it, which is very true sometimes because there’s a lot of intricacies with working on wood.”

Tatarowicz started working on furniture in high school when he refinished furniture for his aunt’s antique business. He worked in and around the van-line industry for 30 years, where he dealt with claims involving repairing furniture damaged during a move.

Earlier this year, Tatarowicz said Mohawk Finishing Products approached him about expanding its area market share after a Brookfield distributor scaled back its operations for family reasons, leaving a void in the marketplace. Jeremiah is an authorized distributor of Mohawk products.

Jeremiah’s Wood Finishing Supplies

2510A S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

(414) 897-8954

Avalon owner not interested in selling

October 31, 2011

By Michael Timm

Avalon Theatre owner Lee Barczak said he knows people are disappointed that his plans to reopen the Depression-era atmospheric movie palace have not yet been realized. But he continues to believe in the promise of the building and that more patience is needed to realize its full potential.

To respond to “some strange blogging” that he saw recently, Barczak told the Compass he has never turned down an offer of $6 million for the Avalon.

“I did receive an offer to purchase the Avalon building but the price and the contingencies were not acceptable,” Barczak said.

He said he’s not very interested in selling the Avalon right now. “I am committed to seeing renovation occur there that would incorporate a movie theater if there is any way possible to do this. However, even though the economic conditions have made the redevelopment less feasible since I purchased the building, I have not given up my passion for the project. I have spent the last two years paying off the mortgage and maintaining the building for future development.”

Barczak pointed to his storefront business tenants—Brass Rooster, Bigfoot Bike & Skate, and Wild Workouts & Wellness.

“I have also become convinced that I should not operate the movie theater myself so I am currently pursuing a possible tenant for the theater portion of the building.”

He’s said he’s only in preliminary discussions, but if successful they could be a coup for Bay View.

Barczak is also marketing an open commercial space that could host a restaurant.

Across the street from the Avalon is an open-pit excavation that will be the foundation for Dwell Bay View, a 70-unit apartment building managed by Kendal Group.

Shaina Miller, property manager for Kendal Group, said construction has been smooth thus far. She declined to discuss the project’s financing. Miller was close to announcing the lease signing of the second retail tenant—Snap Fitness Bay View is the first—but at press time could not.

Miller said in the first week since they put up their sign, Dwell has received about 15-20 inquiries. A handful of people are now on the waiting list. Applications will be accepted starting in April. Occupancy is expected in July 2012.

KBS Construction, 4425 W. Mitchell St., is the subcontractor; development group 2452 KK, LLC is the general contractor.

Fritsche no more

October 31, 2011

The new signage on the building that formerly housed Fritsche Middle School, 2969 S. Howell Ave. Now termed the Gustav A. Fritsche Education Complex, the building houses two schools that share the same principal and office, Dover and Tippecanoe. ~photo Katherine Keller

Extreme Moms to take December dive

October 31, 2011

Late last year, a Bay View mother dedicated herself to helping moms face their fears and inspiring them through extreme sports. This year, the nonprofit she founded, Extreme Moms, has 20 core members and is expanding to include “Extreme Dads” and “Allies of Extreme Moms.”

The “extreme” evolved to mean pushing mothers outside their comfort zones to make sure they’re experiencing all they want life to offer—and to empower their children by example.

“I started to notice how it was affecting the moms, doing extreme sports especially,” explained Extreme Moms founder Sarah Minella, who also runs her own interior design and organization business. And she noticed the change in how kids viewed their “extreme” parents—“just the amazement… ‘My Mom’s a superhero!’”

Minella said she once traveled the world on philanthropic and environmental missions. Then she had kids. Her priorities changed. She changed. “I wanted my kids to know that person I was and not who I’d become,” she said.

Past Extreme Mom activities included hang gliding, rock climbing, skydiving—even rappelling down the Milwaukee Hilton to raise money for the Special Olympics.

Their next big event is the Parachute for Power skydiving trip Dec. 10. It’s a fundraiser for Extreme Moms’ Empowerment Boot Camp, a self-esteem workshop starting next March that involves local musicians and artists in building youth self-esteem. Minella needs to raise $10,000 and is seeking program space.

Throughout 2012, Minella plans programming to help moms face other fears—like going back to school or starting their own business.

She’s currently looking for office space and recently netted a $3,500 grant from the Bay View-based Nonprofit Management Fund for a consultant.

Memberships are available on a sliding scale with a minimum $50 a year. More info:

Oscillations on KK

October 31, 2011

An offbeat boutique, Oscillations Art & Music Eclectic, has opened at 2674 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in the space previously occupied by Carmen Benske Studio.

Owned and operated by Gian Pogliano, Oscillations features jewelry, music, art, yoga/T-shirts, a selection of Hal Leonard books, Hohner melodicas, feather flapper-hairpieces, 1950s educational classroom films, and other bits of eclectica. The targeted demographic is art students and fans of psychobilly and garage punk, Pogliano said.

Pogliano plans to focus on “the diverse voices of women in music.” Currently the store is showing artwork by local musician Mandy Cappleman and her lo-fi recordings. He said he hopes to acquire a “formidable amount” of riot grrrl music, along with feminist and LGBT works to help fill a void left by the closing of Broad Vocabulary. He plans to feature work by Robert Williams, whose work “melds hot rod art and B-movie elements with a unique brand of edgy, aggressive surrealism.” The work of artist Jimbot is also currently on display and for sale.

Featured handmade jewelry is from La Spia and Girly Girl, with steampunk jewelry by C Squared and Marisa Fendry.

The store’s inventory includes releases from Jack White’s Third Man Records, Something Weird Video, Alex Grey merchandise, and Hooded Productions shirts.

Pogliano is looking for consignment inventory from local artists, musicians, and T-shirt screen printers. Contact him: oscillationsmke@gmail or (414) 324-5693.

Store hours: Mon., Tues., Thurs. 12:30-7pm; Fri. 12:30-8pm; Sat. 12-8pm; Sun. 12-6:30pm.

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