South Shore Frolics Festival of Arts returns

February 28, 2014

After a year hiatus, Bay View Arts Guild will host its South Shore Frolics Festival of Arts Sun., July 12 in South Shore Park from 10am to 5pm.

The booth fee is $75 and jurying fee is $10. The deadline for applications to participate is April 15.

Guild members who are organizing the event this year are Michelle Wildgruber, Gregory Juris and MicheleFelice Bohlmann.

The artist application will be posted on the guild’s website: For more information:


THE FINE PRINT — Can I stop paying rent if I get in a dispute with my landlord?

February 28, 2014

By Jan Pierce

janpierceWhen you sign a lease with a landlord, you’re making an agreement. You give him or her money, and in exchange, you get a place to live. But it’s more than that. You expect to have a place that you can live in comfortably and safely.

The law sets certain basic requirements. You have the right to “quiet enjoyment” and “tenantability.” Generally speaking, these refer to the right to live in peace and quiet, without disturbance from others, in a place that is in good repair, and that has, at the very least, heat and water. Other less basic details, such as how much advance notice a landlord needs to give before entering your residence, who pays for certain repairs and utilities, or whether animals are allowed, are covered in the lease.

If you ever have any questions about who is responsible for what, you should look to your lease first. Then, when you’re armed with the facts, talk to your landlord. Prior preparation and good communication go a long way to solving many problems.

If your landlord refuses to take action for something he or she is responsible for, you should document the problem and your efforts to get it remedied. Too often, tenants rely only on the phone and fail to document their efforts to resolve their dispute. If the dispute ends up in court, which it easily can, you’ll need evidence to back up your side of the story. Even if you use the phone, follow up with an email to the landlord to document that discussion. You might even find that the landlord responds differently when you place your demand in writing.

If the problem relates to your health and welfare (e.g. no heat or water), then it is probably regulated by municipal ordinances. If, after making a reasonable effort to communicate the issue to your landlord, you still don’t get satisfaction, a call to Milwaukee’s Department of Neighborhood Services is probably in order. It should go without saying that a call to DNS will not endear you to your landlord, so it should be one of your last resorts.

If you get to the point where you are considering withholding rent, it should only be in conjunction with terminating your lease, which puts you at risk for being sued. There is a legal basis for terminating a lease, especially when it comes to issues of health and welfare, but such a basis must be well documented and meet the elements spelled out in the law. A mere accusation that a landlord has breached the terms of a lease, on its own, is not a basis to withhold rent. If you do so, you should expect to get evicted and sued for back-rent.

Jan Pierce, S.C. is a law firm In Milwaukee that was founded with the belief that people can make a positive difference in the world and make a profit. The firm’s emphasis is on assisting small businesses and social entrepreneurs in all aspects of launching and managing their ventures. Disclaimer: Advice in this column is general legal information and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Send your question to To protect your privacy, your name will not be published.


HALL MONITOR — Accountability for whom?

February 28, 2014

By Jay Bullock

Jay1headshotA friend of mine tweeted a couple of weeks ago how he and his preschool-aged daughter were learning about the winter Olympics. They were watching the games together on TV, reading books together about the different sports, and making their own book together about the games. He posted a bunch adorable pictures that his daughter drew of the athletes.

I am not worried about whether that little girl is going to grow up smart, interested in learning, and good in school.

On the other hand, I have children in my high school classes right now who themselves have preschool-aged children of their own. I ask them, what are you reading to your daughter? What kind of questions are you asking your son? When was the last time you guys went to the library? How often do you two play together?

The answers I get are never something as awesome making books about the Olympics; they are usually just about watching TV or leaving the children alone with their toys. (My follow-up question is, do you need books? I mean, I try to help when I can.)

I know that my students are not the only poor young parents in this city, in this state, or, for that matter, in this country, who are raising their children very differently from my middle-class Twitter friend who has the time and resources to do more than plant his daughter in front of a TV.

The students of poor, young parents are the children I worry about. They will not come to school ready to learn, with a history of learning behind them.

I also, consequently, worry about my colleagues, the teachers who, in a year or two or five will have those TV watchers, those non-book-readers in their classrooms. This is because, if some state legislators have their way, in the name of “accountability,” those teachers could lose their jobs when those children score badly on state proficiency tests.

I have no idea what version of the “school accountability” bill, if any, will be under consideration or already passed by the time this column is published. In the last couple of months, a number of different versions of the bill have circulated in both the state assembly and state senate. None of them show any mercy on teachers and schools whose students don’t come to school ready to learn, who don’t have support at home for what the teachers are trying to do at school.

All the versions of the school accountability bill I’ve seen so far this year basically define accountability as shutting down a school and removing any public school staff from the building, then handing it over to private charter operators.

The bills do include language whereby schools would be judged on a “value-added” formula, which tries to account for the significant differences in socioeconomic status, when comparing schools across the state. But that only goes so far; the bills do nothing to actually address the significant differences in socioeconomic status we see across the state.

Indeed, recent proposed legislation that would raise Wisconsin’s minimum wage — to name one — has gone nowhere. Wisconsin has also famously rejected the expansion of Medicaid that came with the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which would help this state’s poor families make ends meet. Unlike neighboring Minnesota, Wisconsin has not made new investments in early-childhood education and all-day kindergarten, something poor families can’t afford on their own.

We also lag behind our neighbors and the rest of the nation in the current economic recovery, creating jobs at a relative snail’s pace and leaving poor areas of the state struggling. Instead we are debating closing schools and limiting opportunities to vote, not helping people out of poverty.

And don’t even get me started on resources for the schools themselves. At a February 13 committee hearing on an assembly version of the school accountability bill, committee chair Rep. Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) had to keep reminding testifying witnesses and fellow committee members that this was not the time to debate school funding or the kind of resources the state offers to schools that have students in the greatest need. Since the last debate we had over school funding ended with literally billions of dollars less in state aid to schools, I guess I’m kind of glad they’re not at it again, but still, when do we get to talk about giving schools help instead of ultimatums?

The school accountability bill might sound like a good idea, but I think it raises the question, accountability for whom? As education reform skeptic Diane Ravitch has pointed out, we can’t fire parents and we can’t fire poverty, so we fire teachers instead.

It might make sense to start firing the legislators, though. Let’s see how they like accountability.

Jay Bullock teaches English at Bay View Middle and High School and tweets as @folkbum. Email him at


PARENTHESIS — Losing gloves, retaining sanity

February 28, 2014

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

NEW Jill Maher Headshot Dec 2013It’s been an unusually cold winter and almost everyone is ready to store their snow shovel. I’ve been weathering winter fairly well but I’ve gotten tired of bundling our six year old and myself each time we head outside. Even more irritating than the bundling is misplaced mittens and gloves.

Have you seen a purple fleece glove around the neighborhood? Our daughter was wearing it and its partner and matching scarf when she walked out the door one day, but it never returned. I bet it lurks in that same mystical storage box that holds lost earrings.

Like losing an earring, losing only one glove or mitten is hard to forget because most of us keep the partner around. We hope the lost item might turn up. It would be tragic to recover one that was not really lost, after tossing out its mate.

This “save the single” strategy paid off for me this winter. My husband discovered a single black fleece mitten among the Christmas ornaments. “Aha!” I exclaimed, “I know where the other one is!” It had lain, forlorn, in my daughter’s sock basket through spring, summer, and fall in hopes that its partner would resurface.

The saved-single functions as a reminder, making losing one mitten or glove worse than losing a scarf or hat which are easier to write off.

School lost-and-found tables fill up at this time of year. I saw about 15 single mittens and gloves during a recent scan. I didn’t find the purple glove, but did recover a sweater that I hadn’t realized was missing. My mom, a former grade school secretary, tells me that she found the load of orphaned jackets at the school most perplexing. She wondered, Why weren’t the owners out hunting for them and wouldn’t the school’s lost-and-found table be one of their first stops? It is a mark of affluence when outerwear can go missing and is not fretted over.

After commiserating with my woes, a friend revealed her own coping strategy: Buy loads of backup pairs late in the season at discount.

Replacing the lost item is another tactic. The retailer Lands’ End, with headquarters in Dodgeville, Wis., offers a Lost Mitten Club. Customers who lose a mitten or glove get half off the regular pair price as long as the company still stocks the style.

I have tried to remember that everyone makes mistakes and not pester our daughter too much about losing her glove. I reminded myself of a memorable mishap from my childhood. I wore my winter boots to and from school and during recess, and took shoes each day to wear the rest of the time. During the trudge to the bus stop about six houses away, the shoes vanished. A bemused neighbor brought them to our door the next day and we realized they fell from my overstuffed backpack.

In fact, I lost my own mittens this winter. My super-warm black mittens simply vanished and I have no memory of where I could have left them. At least I lost the whole pair.

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


Fundraiser for BVHS celebrates Avalon Theatre’s June opening

February 28, 2014

A party to raise money for the Bay View Historical Society and to celebrate the projected June opening of the Avalon Theatre is scheduled for Tues., May 20, 5pm to 8pm, at Horny Goat Brewing Company, 2011 S. 1st St.

Tickets for the event are $100 and $50. Horny Goat is providing music and donating food and soda for the event, according to Alderman Tony Zielinski, who is one of the event organizers. There will be a cash bar. Proceeds generated by ticket sales will be donated to the historical society so that it can add a handicap ramp to the Beulah Brinton House, 2590 S. Superior St., which houses the society, and for the repair of its second story porch. In addition to gaining admission to the Horny Goat party, tickets will bestow admission to a movie at the soft opening of the remodeled Avalon Theatre, 2473 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., sometime in June.

Avalon owner Lee Barczak will be reimbursed for the cost of admission of those attending the soft screening from the proceeds of the $100 and $50 tickets. In the next month or so, said Zielinski, Horny Goat Brewing Company will begin selling tickets for the event via its website.

More info:; (414) 744-1802

Humboldt Park beer garden proposal aired

February 28, 2014

By Katherine Keller

The proposed beer garden for Humboldt Park would be operated by St. Francis Brewery. The 18 picnic tables would accommodate 200 patrons.

The proposed beer garden for Humboldt Park would be operated by St. Francis Brewery. The 18 picnic tables would accommodate 200 patrons.

Milwaukee County Parks, Recreation & Culture (DPRC) and St. Francis Brewery have agreed on the terms of a one-year vendor permit that would allow the brewery to operate a beer garden in Humboldt Park this summer.

St. Francis Brewery responded to DPRC’s October 2013 RPF (request for proposal) for food and beverage services.

Parks officials said that public comments gathered at the Feb. 10 meeting at the Humboldt Park Pavilion were taken into consideration and shaped aspects of the agreement.

The Plan

Nick Dillon, St. Francis Brewery’s general manager, said 18 picnic tables situated on the northwest side of the pavilion would seat 200 people. Beer would be served from a mobile refrigerated beer tapping and storage trailer and a tap box, while food would be dispensed from the pavilion’s concession stand. Beer would cost $5 for a half liter; $10 for a liter, and an eight ounce soda would cost$3. Patrons would be allowed to bring their own steins or pay a $5 rental fee for a stein. Dillon said that beer steins and glassware would be dispensed and returned to the concession stand, where they would also be washed.

St. Francis Brewery's general manager Nick Dillon will invest $4,500 to  upgrade the Humboldt Park concession stand and serve food from it if the proposed beer garden is approved.

St. Francis Brewery’s general manager Nick Dillon will invest $4,500 to upgrade the Humboldt Park concession stand and serve food from it if the proposed beer garden is approved.

A beer license from the city of Milwaukee would be required to sell beer in the park, and the city’s health department would oversee the inspection and sanitary operation of the concession stand. The terms of the county’s agreement with St. Francis provide for the brewery to foot a bill of $4,500 to make upgrades, repairs, and improvements, principally to the concession stand. The brewery will also pay for the installation of a bike stand and signage.

Dillon originally proposed to operate the beer garden from May to October, seven days a week, from 11am to 9pm, but he altered that plan to accommodate concerns expressed at the public meeting. Instead it will operate from June 1 to October 12, 4pm to 9pm Monday through Friday, and 11am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

Public Concerns

Approximately 75 people attended the Feb. 10 meeting. Concerns they expressed included the impact of the beer garden on residents living near the park, safety/security within and near the park, underage drinking, unruly patrons, loud music, increased park traffic and parking, hours and months of operation, impact of the beer garden on groups who rent the pavilion, impact on Bay View Neighborhood Association’s popular summer concert series Chill On The Hill, proximity to schools near the park, impact upon children walking through or using the park, accessibility standards, and the capacity/condition of pavilion bathrooms.


Part of DPRC’s Director John Dargle’s role is generating revenue via the parks — $18 million in 2014. The gamut of revenue sources is great and ranges from the parking structure at O’Donnell Park that produces more than $1.1 million a year, to far more modest revenue streams like picnic permits and pavilion rentals.

Recently beer gardens have become a revenue source for Milwaukee County. Last year Estabrook Park Beer, operated by ABC Estabrook, Inc., generated nearly $65,000 for the county. In 2013, a beer garden was instituted in Hoyt Park, operated by the Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool.

Before the reduction of the months and hours of its operation, St. Francis Brewery agreed to pay the county $65,000 or 30% of sales. The new terms provide for a flat fee of $45,000 or 30% of sales, Dillon said.

Patty Pritchard Thompson, Chill on the Hill’s Sponsorship Chair, asked where the beer garden profits would be directed within the parks’ budget. Dargle replied that he is obliged to meet DPRC’s $18 million revenue goals, and beer garden income would go into the county’s general fund. Thompson said she disagreed with the policy and thought it would be wiser for some or all of the profits produced by revenue-generating park events, which cause stress to its grounds and facilities, to go directly back to the participating parks rather than the general fund. She said she particularly wanted to see funds returned to Humboldt Park.

Interviewed by the Compass in late February, Thompson elaborated, “If I had my way, I’d have the majority of the funds go back to the parks, with at least $10K of it going directly to Humboldt for some building improvements. The pavilion is in need of repair…gutters and downspouts, a new roof, and upgraded electrical. I’d also like to see some improvements at the band shell, such as better lighting backstage, upgraded electrical, upgraded bathrooms, but the first priority should be the pavilion since it’s used more frequently.”

Supervisor Haas replied that he was interested in establishing a reserve fund for the park. Dargle said that in some cases, the terms of an agreement might include a provision for 1% of gross revenue to be funneled into a maintenance fund. He said that he would consider that provision if the county renews its agreement with St. Francis Brewery next year. He noted that the terms of the 2014 agreement provide that the brewery pays for the $4,500 worth of improvements to the concession stand.

Safety and Security

Patrons who purchase beer in the beer garden would not be permitted to carry it beyond the perimeter of the beer garden. They will not be able to take it to Chill on the Hill or to a picnic gathering in another area of the park. The perimeter will be defined by the operator’s beer license.

The beer garden’s bartenders would be responsible for maintaining control of the service area — preventing underage drinking, restricting beer to the confines of the beer garden, and monitoring customers’ behavior. At the public meeting, Haas indicated that park rangers and county sheriffs would also be available to patrol the park. A document issued by DPRC states that “over the past two years at Estabrook and the last year at Hoyt, Wauwatosa PD, Shorewood PD, and Sheriff’s Office confirmed there were no calls for service to either beer garden.”

Bathrooms and Accessibility

Dillon said that he and his staff would oversee the bathrooms, ensuring that they were as clean and well stocked at those at the St. Francis Brewery and Restaurant (3825 S. Kinnickinnic in St. Francis). He will provide one handicap accessible port-a-john with a hand washing unit that will be placed on a wheelchair accessible surface. Two parking spaces along the parkway near the pavilion will be designated as handicapped-only. Park personnel will monitor the vendor’s maintenance of the bathrooms.

DPRC’s Unit Coordinator Cliff Hale, whose management area includes Humboldt Park, said that the 60s-era bathroom facilities,  “even when clean as possible, are tired, getting old, but are fully functional. They have sinks that have cold and hot water, and the toilets all function, unless jammed by park patrons.” The women’s bathroom has four toilet stalls while the men’s has two stalls and eight urinals, he said.

Diana Sullivan, an employee of disability advocate agency IndependenceFirst, who attended the Feb. 10 meeting, challenged DPRC to update the pavilion’s bathrooms to meet the accessibility standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1992. She countered a comment made by Dargle who said he thought that the pavilion was grandfathered in by the act. She said that ADA provided no grandfathering and that the county has been obligated to upgrade the parks’ bathroom facilities since 1992.

Conflict Avoidance

Parking and traffic concerns were dismissed by the county in the Frequently Asked Questions document it published Feb. 26. Parks officials concede that there will be increased vehicle traffic but they project that a high percentage of patrons will access the park by foot or bike.

Thompson said that she thinks Chill on the Hill, which runs each Tuesday evening June through August, draws 2,500 attendees, on average. On those nights, patrons are allowed to park on the lawn west of the band shell. Dargle said that lawn parking would be restricted to the concert-Tuesdays again this summer.

Several of those who commented at the Feb. 10 meeting agreed that there was sufficient parking in the residential area surrounding the park to accommodate both concert patrons, park patrons, and beer garden patrons, while others disagreed, expressing concern that they will be parked in by cars too near their driveways or that they will not find spaces near their homes to park their own vehicles.

Another concern discussed at the meeting was the impact of the beer garden on Chill on the Hill, where only those businesses that sponsor the concert series are allowed to sell food. Thompson worries that vendor sales will be diminished because of competition by the beer garden and that she’ll lose sponsors. She also fears she’ll lose sponsors with businesses near the park.

“Some of the businesses who sponsor, do it because of the spillover business,” she said. “They see customers before and after the Chill event, and those customers may choose to go to the closer venue at the beer garden rather than other local establishments. I think the beer garden will benefit from the Chill crowd every Tuesday night; I’m not sure how Chill will benefit from the beer garden.”

Another potential conflict was averted when DRCP assigned a new area of the park for the relocation of the horseshoe pits that would be displaced by the beer garden. BVNA’s annual Pumpkin Pavilion event would not have to compete with the beer garden this fall, Thompson said, because Dillon agreed not to open it that evening. The Halloween event is staged each year where the beer garden would be located.

The beer garden proposal must pass muster with the city of Milwaukee’s Licenses Committee and the Common Council and the Milwaukee County Parks, Energy, and Environment Committee and the County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Haas, a member of the parks committee, said he expects it will receive the beer garden proposal in March or April and pass it on to the full board for a vote to approve (or not) in time for the brewery to begin operating the beer garden by June 1.

Alderman Tony Zielinski declined to comment about his disposition toward the proposal or the brewery’s application for a beer license because he is still in the process of soliciting input from his constituents about the proposal.

If the beer garden is allowed to operate this summer in Humboldt Park, Dargle said that the vendor would be evaluated at the end of the year. Return on investment, security, parking, and other criteria would be considered by DPRC. The public would also be invited to give to give feedback after the beer garden closes in Fall.

A vote taken by a show of hands at the Feb. 10 meeting resulted in 27 people for the proposal, 14 opposed, and 14 undecided.


Restaurant Review — Little DeMarinis revives traditional flavors

February 28, 2014

By Gian Pogliano

Like many other Bay View natives, I was raised on Mama DeMarinis and was as excited as anyone else to hear that the original recipes were returning with a new restaurant. But I entered Little DeMarinis for its soft opening February 11 doing my best to avoid bias and examine the food objectively.

After all the secrecy surrounding the renovation, I was surprised to find the décor to be a garage/backyard patio concept. A Vespa stands inside the front door There is a scooter on the wall behind the bar. There are Vespa miniatures and posters everywhere. Work lamps hang from a ceiling with beer caps accenting its copper-colored tile. Many of the servers wear red bandanas a la Rosie the Riveter.

The sign that spelled out Mama DeMarinis on the exterior of the original restaurant on Potter is mounted on the back wall, attached to industrial sheet metal. The burnt wood wall accents reminded me of my grandmother’s backyard brick oven. The tables from Mama DeMarinis are back, refinished to match the wood on the walls, and the plastic chairs are the same, in keeping with the original bar/restaurant’s unpretentious blue collar vibe.

The bar seating is comfortable, and three televisions are tuned to different sports channels. Lakefront beers are on tap, along with Miller Lite. The bottled beer selection ranges from domestic standbys to hipper fare such as Bell’s Two Hearted.

The Cheese Garlic Bread ($5.50) is a good starter, but don’t expect to finish an order by yourself. The four thick slices of authentic Italian bread were soft and fluffy inside with a very crunchy crust. They weren’t over-buttered, and the strong mozzarella didn’t overwhelm the garlic seasoning.

Pizzas in various sizes range from $9-$25. I ordered the 10” pizza listed as The Works ($15.50). I opted for no tomatoes but specified fresh mushrooms. For whatever reason, you can choose between fresh or canned mushrooms. My pizza came in a round pan, but larger pizzas are rectangular, with more crust at the edges. The brick-oven-baked buttery crust was light brown, crunchy on the edges, and softer but still firm in the center. The sausage, made with Mama’s homemade spice blend, blends perfectly with the basil notes of the sauce, getting spicier as you continue eating.

The sauce is just that: sauce. Many are accustomed to tomato paste on pizza, but traditional sauces are thinner. Though this sometimes leaves some liquid on the bottom of the pan and can make some slices a bit floppy, especially when loaded with toppings, it delivers freshness that is well worth it. The pepperoni, well-distributed across the pizza, was piquant, keeping the spiciness consistent. The cheese was light and stringy. All the vegetables were fresh. The green peppers were crunchy, their juices providing a light zing, and the mushrooms were soft and flavorful.

I also sampled a 10” Italian Garden Vegan Pesto Pizza ($15), one of the menu-options added to attract the ever-growing vegan cohort. Putting artichokes on pizza can be a challenge, as they dehydrate very easily. But these artichokes were cooked perfectly — warm, soft, and full of juices. The vegan mozzarella (gluten- and soy-free) was fairly subtle, and I would have preferred it to have a greater flavor presence. The broccoli, red peppers, and fresh tomatoes rounded out a straightforward but complex flavor profile.

Little DeMarinis also features pastas served in fairly large bowls, perfect if you like to toss your pasta first. Options range from Marinara ($9.50) and Alfredo ($11.75) to lighter alternatives like Primavera ($11.25) and Garlic and Olive Oil ($9.50). Other notable items include the Chicken Parmesan Dinner ($13.75), Italian Sausage Sandwich ($8.50), Meatball Sandwich ($7.50), Friday Fish Fry ($10.25) and children’s menu.

Little DeMarinis
2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
Tu-Th 4-10; Fri & Sat, 4-10:30; Sun 3-9


Fever on KK

February 28, 2014

—photo Katherine Keller

—photo Katherine Keller

Fever Salon may be just a couple of months old — it opened Dec. 11, but owner/cosmetologist Brenda Terzieva is not a newbie to the profession or in the neighborhood. She left Signature Salon & Spa in Waukesha seven years ago and moved to Bay View to work at Salon Thor. Her next gig was as an independent stylist at another local salon until she opened her own salon at 2363 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Fever offers haircuts, color, perms, keratin treatments, and massage therapy.

Terzieva decided to pursue a career in cosmetology when she was 18 years old on a dare from an ex-boyfriend, who felt she should be more feminine, she said. She attended VICÍ Beauty School, graduating in 1999. As she worked at other salons, she had visions of owning her own business. “I have always daydreamed about opening my own salon on and off through the years,” Terzieva said. She said she was fortunate to have strong mentors in her career who inspired her to dream big.

She searched for a space her budget could sustain, found it, and she opened debt-free. “When you decide to work for yourself, the safety net is off,” Terzieva said.

Prior to Fever Salon, attorney Patricia Cavey occupied the space, and before that, it housed the Fire Sign Beads store.

The only challenges to starting her own business were paperwork and elbow grease, Terzieva said. She credits her husband with helping her obtain permits, and family and friends with lending their skills to help remodel the interior.

Terzieva expressed her love for Bay View and said she believes that the more thriving small businesses there are in a neighborhood, salons and coffee shops, for example, the more the city’s economy benefits. “The city is big enough for all of us,” she said.

She feels that the various salons in Bay View each have something different to offer —personality, ambiance, practitioners’ skills, and price.

Terzieva is a master colorist, certified by the American Institute of Hair Color. She specializes in razor cutting, face shape analysis, and perming. Massage therapist Laura Taylor offers therapeutic and hot stone massage, and Julie Gabert specializes in hair extensions and keratin treatments. Taylor and Gabert rent space from Terzieva.

Aside from hairstyle trends, Terzieva has observed how technology’s influence has changed her profession over the past 15 years of her practice. She noted that the public is more informed than ever because of their ability to perform research online, and that clients want to leave the salon looking good, but also with the knowledge about how to maintain the look every day. She emphasized the importance of cosmetologists teaching and educating their clients on topics ranging from the chemical compounds in products to how to achieve an amazing blowout.

Salon professionals keep up with change with continuing education courses, online research, and sharing information through social media. “Clients are becoming more involved in our industry and cosmetologists are rising to it,” she said.

Fever Salon
2363 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
(414) 241-0265;

Sheila Julson, is a freelance writer and blogs at


Attebury’s Pub now Übeer Gastropub

February 28, 2014

By Sheila Julson

—photo Katherine Keller

—photo Katherine Keller

Wayne Beckes and his wife Devon rang in the New Year by doing what many people dream about — becoming business owners.

Beckes, a resident of Colgate, Wis., purchased Attebury’s Pub & Eatery, 3807 S. Packard Ave., in St. Francis, from Andrew Maricle, who owns Bourbon & Tunns Tavern in the Third Ward. The deal was finalized Dec. 31, 2013.

He renamed it Übeer, playing on the German word über. In German, über means “over” or “above” but in American slang, it is used as a superlative, denoting something outstanding.

Beckes will retain many elements of Attebury’s pub menu and drinks, including the 24 craft-beer tap lines, the beer-battered fish fry, and pulled chicken. Menu tweaks will incorporate suggestions from staff and customers, he said. The cozy pub interior will remain mostly the same, including the English den-style library nook, where the books are not just part of the decor; patrons may actually borrow them.

The music and trivia nights will be retained, too. Beckes promises a bit of quirky entertainment — celebrating lesser-known holidays like National Get Out Your Guitar Day, which he recently commemorated with a performance of acoustic musicians. “There are some weird, wacky holidays on the calendar that we can have fun with,” he said.

Always Liked Entertaining

Beckes worked in the restaurant business throughout his teens and early 20’s, at Left Guard in Janesville, Wis., a restaurant chain founded by 1960s Packers greats Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston and Max McGee, and entrepreneur Bill Martine. He bused tables, worked in the kitchen, and eventually handled banquets.

Later he worked in management positions for Thom McAn shoes and Warehouse Shoes until he decided to change career paths and enrolled at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Following MIAD, he worked for Kohl’s Department Stores in marketing and design until July 2013.

During six months of unemployment, Beckes said, “I asked myself, ‘Do I want to go back to a standard job, or just do what I really want to do?’” He began searching businesses listings, with an eye toward a pub-style business. “I’ve always liked to entertain people,” he said, “I wanted a business I could enjoy and be good at.”

He considered restaurants in West Bend and Germantown, but Attebury’s’ status as a turnkey sale appealed to him, as did its proximity to Lake Michigan. He also found its patio very appealing. He and Devon purchased the business and building, dipping into their 401(k) savings.

Hit the Ground Running

Beckes said he obtained all municipal licensing and permits upfront to ensure a smooth transition that would not disrupt the existing business. He kept most of the Attebury’s staff, including general manager Carlene Miller. Beckes’ personal focus will be marketing and branding.

Miller said she and Beckes would retain some of the menu’s favorites. “But some staples will be retooled for Übeer to be beer-related. We have a beer mac n’ cheese (a sauce made with simmered cheeses and ale),” Miller said. “There’s a rich beer history in this community of home brewers and craft beers, and we want to capture that market.”

They’re also keeping wood-fired pizzas on the menu, but with a build-your-own pizza option. Diners can expect more vegetarian and gluten-free gastropub food.

Beckes said new cook Michelle Warwick, a culinary student at MATC, who applied for employment at Übeer, is a vegetarian willing to create meat-free culinary options. Warwick will graduate December 2014. Übeer offers a vegetarian black bean burger.

Beckes and Miller said new menu items will be introduced as specials, and they stressed that customer suggestions will be welcome and encouraged. Many of their patrons are neighborhood residents who were Attebury’s customers, and as such, they want to be inclusive of the diverse tastes of the various demographics of the South Shore communities of Bay View, St. Francis, Cudahy, and South Milwaukee.

The on-tap craft beers will be switched out seasonally, while some beer will be available year round, like Guinness and Hacker-Pschorr. Wisconsin’s New Glarus and Capital Brewery varieties are part of the lineup present. Übeer plans to snare rare finds brewed in limited quantities, such as Zombie Dust, a pale ale from Three Floyd’s Brewing, in Munster, Ind., Beckes said.

Beckes wants to ramp up community involvement and will participate in this year’s WMSE Rockabilly Chili fundraiser and plans to participate in St. Francis Days. Through a customer, he learned of Creative Community Opportunities, an employment agency committed to placing persons with disabilities. Beckes recently hired an employee through that agency.

In keeping with a goal of local sourcing, Beckes sources Milwaukee-area businesses such as Aggie’s Cakes & Pastries for desserts and Great Lakes Distillery for spirits. Miller Bakery creates the large “Übeervarian” pretzels for the pub. “They’re not just an appetizer for a person, but for a whole family,” Beckes quipped about the pretzels’ immense size.

Übeer Gastropub
3807 S. Packard Ave.
(414) 312-7128

Sheila Julson,, is a freelance writer and blogs at



Humboldt Park skate spot fundraising launched

February 28, 2014

Humboldt Park skate spot fundraising launched

SKatepark ground levelA community-based endeavor led by Bay View resident Nichole Williams has begun its quest to fund a skate spot in Humboldt Park. A $5,000 contribution by Bay View Neighborhood Association launched the project’s fundraising effort. BVNA is one of the community partners behind the project.

The skate spot would allow the use of all wheels — skateboards, BMX bikes, roller skates, scooters, etc., in and on structures of the spot. Renderings of the project were presented at a public meeting, co-hosted by Milwaukee County Parks last May.

BVNA applied for a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. Williams said she anticipates that BVNA will be successful in its petition for funding from the foundation and expects to be notified in Spring.

Milwaukee is the only densely populated city in the United States without a free, public wheel spot, Williams said. This urban development promotes a healthy sport in a safe environment.

BVNA will continue to seek funds with a goal of $80,000, the project’s price tag. They are seeking private donations from residents, businesses, and asking for coöperation and support from the Milwaukee Common Council and Milwaukee County Board.

The Humboldt Park skate spot is BVNA’s first project-specific fundraiser, one that the group itself is sponsoring. To date, it has raised money through sponsorships and donations via events like Winter Blast and Chill on the Hill, and used those funds to support non-BVNA community projects.

Residents who wish to make a tax-deductible donation to the skate spot project may find information and donate at For more information contact Nichole Williams,
Read more about the skate park: Follow the project on Facebook: Bay View Is Wheel Friendly.



Daughter of Lake Michigan fisherman looking for photos of boat Palmer

February 28, 2014

(In response to the August 2013 feature, “A beautiful life on the water,” that profiled commercial fisherman Alvin “Gabby” Anderson.)

My father, Robert Edward Strege, was a fisherman. He is also a friend of Alvin’s. My father’s boat was called Palmer. I am Robert’s (Bob’s) youngest daughter. His wife’s name is Anna, or Ann, as most people call her. They are in their 80’s, currently living in Racine, Wis. I’m looking for more pictures of the Palmer, and if anyone reading this has some digital images, I would like to see them. I am using them for drawing and painting. Feel free to contact me if you have questions or need information.

Beth Coddington


Fernwood students’ future city earns trip to D.C.

February 28, 2014

By Kevin Meagher

The Fernwood team: Malcolm Ramirez, Aaron Woida, Mallory Bree, and Amy Wesolowski. —photos STEM Forward, Inc

The Fernwood team: Malcolm Ramirez, Aaron Woida, Mallory Bree, and Amy Wesolowski. —photos STEM Forward, Inc

City planners in Milwaukee might have some competition in the next few years if Fernwood Montessori students Mallory Bree, Malcolm Ramirez, Amy Wesolowski, and Aaron Woida have anything to say about it. The eighth graders took first place in Wisconsin’s regional DiscoverE Future City competition and won an expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. February 15-18, for the national competition. They faced 36 other teams from across the nation but fell short of one of the top spots, while a team from Rochester, Michigan took the overall first place.

With the help of two volunteer mentors, students in the competition were asked to conceptualize a city of the future using SimCity Virtual software, then write a research essay and build a scale model of their city. The Fernwood students were able to compete through the school’s STEM Forward, or Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Forward program. STEM Forward is a Wisconsin-based organization providing and/or promoting educational outreach programs with an emphasis on those four disciplines. Fernwood teacher Matthew Ray introduced the program as an extracurricular at the school. He accompanied the students to the national competition as part of the team that also included mentors Dennis Newton and Tony Castle.

The DiscoverE program, formerly known as National Engineers Week Foundation, is a volunteer outreach program that was established by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951. Each year, DiscoverE holds the Future City Competition as part of Engineer’s Week, and with each competition, the students are asked to focus on a different citywide issue or challenge.

This year the issue was “Tomorrow’s Transit: Design A Way to Move People In and Around Your City.” In their future city, Calatori, the Fernwood students approached transportation targeting sustainability and maximizing efficiency of space. They designed the highways so they could be stacked on top of each other to avoid clogging, they gave emergency vehicles special access to roads, and they utilized a green car, which could run on different types of renewable energy including wind, solar power, algae biofuel, and cow manure.

The students could choose any environment to build their city. Some of the more outlandish ecosystems in competitions past included the moon and a hollowed out glacier. The Fernwood students chose an area of land surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains in present day Romania. Although the acreage of the city was not specified, their city had a population of 472,748 people.

“We tried to keep it about the size of Milwaukee” said Woida.

The Fernwood team named their futuristic city Calatori and imagined it being located in Romania.  —photos STEM Forward, Inc.

The Fernwood team named their futuristic city Calatori and imagined it being located in Romania.
—photos STEM Forward, Inc.

In terms of the architectural aspects of the city, the students were fortunate to have two professional engineers as mentors. Castle, a project engineer for the civil engineering firm EMCS with a background in transportation design projects, wasn’t aware that was the topic of this year’s competition when he learned of the volunteer opportunity. With the expertise he brought, he provided the students with a boost of confidence.

“(He) just sort of showed us the ropes of how we were going to accomplish all the stuff we needed to and gave us tips. The mentors also proofed our essay and made corrections. We had some afterschool meetings too, that helped us get settled with our ideas for the city,” said Wesolowski.

Castle wanted to help the students address the real-world issues of their design while covering all the basics in the DiscoverE rubric. Despite his expertise though, Castle found himself more in a guidance role, than an informative one.

“They were really on point with what they were doing. I think sometimes there are varying levels of effort, but they were really on the ball…I just tried to keep them focused on different aspects of city planning and get them thinking about all the points on the scoring rubric,” Castle said.

Having placed second in last year’s regional competition, the students had an idea of what would be expected of them and the effort needed to create a winning design. They built upon many of the ideas they had last year and recycled others they didn’t get the chance to use.

“A lot of our ideas were based on certain things we had thought of last year, but never really put to use because we had others. So we kind of used leftover ideas from last year and added on to those by researching them further on the internet,” Woida said.

Special awards are part of both the regional and national competitions and are given to teams whose cities possess outstanding individual aspects. One aspect that the group was particularly satisfied with was their land surveying. The students grabbed this award at the regional competition, mainly because of their experiences a year before.

White House Portrait CAIN“One of the reasons we actually tried to focus on that this year, was because last year the land surveying special-awards judge was walking around and we were starting to get nervous because we didn’t know how we would answer his questions, and then he just looked at our model and kept walking. This year we actually called him over because we were prepared,” Bree said.

It’s rare for land surveying to get any mention in a normal eighth grade class, but through the competition, the students were able to gain a solid intro to the topic by using GPS systems to plot where the most logical place to set their buildings would be. While Milwaukee’s urban designer’s jobs may be safe for the time being, the competition did seem to ignite sparks with the students that they may not have gotten from normal classes. “It definitely inspired us to do more with engineering as a career in the future,” Woida said.

“It definitely inspired us to do more with engineering as a career in the future” said Woida.

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