Houdini’s Life and Legend at St. Francis Library

September 29, 2014

Join presenter William Pack at St. Francis Library as he showcases true stories of “Houdini the world’s handcuff king, original prison breaker, and master magician.” Relive his baffling magic and escapes. Hear the only known recording of his voice, and more! Open to those age 10 and older. Registration is encouraged but not required. To register call 414-481-7323. Info about this and other events: stfrancislibrary.org. The event is free.


St. Francis Civic Center Dedication

September 29, 2014

The dedication of the new City of St. Francis Civic Center at 3400 E. Howard Ave. will take place on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 1pm. Enjoy a tour and refreshments. Anna Passante’s new book, From Nojoshing to St. Francis, From Settlement to City: the Early History of St. Francis, Wisconsin, will be on sale.

 


Sharrows on Russell Avenue

September 29, 2014

PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Residents may have noticed new bike graphics painted on Russell Avenue between Superior Street and Clement Avenue. The graphic warns motorists that they must share the lane with bicyclists.  Russell Avenue is part of the Downtown to Bay View bicycle route, which is why the Shared Lane Markings were added.

“Not all “bicycle routes” need to or will be marked with Shared Lane Markings,” said Kristin Bennett, DPW’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

She said the Shared Lane Markings, sometimes called “sharrows,” are street markings that are installed in some locations on streets as an awareness tool to serve two main purposes:

  • To provide guidance to bicyclists as to where/how they should ride on a shared roadway — away from the open door area of parked cars; not weaving in and out of traffic; riding with traffic, not against it; not riding on sidewalks, etc.
  • To alert motorists to the possible presence of bicyclists; set expectations as to where the bicyclists will be riding; and a reminder to share the road.

Shared Lane Markings are a relatively new pavement marking.  They were approved for use nationally by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in December 2009 after several years of research and testing in various cities around the U.S.  Studies of shared lane markings from other communities have shown several benefits. Bicyclists position themselves further from parked cars to stay out of the door zone. Passing motorists give more room to bicyclists. Fewer bicyclists ride on the sidewalk. Fewer bicyclists ride the wrong way.

Shared lane markings are not a replacement for bicycle lanes, but are used only in certain circumstances such as where there is a disconnect in the existing bike lane network, a lack of parallel routes, slower vehicle speeds, significant bicycle traffic, and/or an inability to remove parking to add a bike lane.


Pumpkin Pavilion 2014

September 29, 2014

By Sheila Julson

A selection of jack-o-lanterns on display at Bay View Neighborhood Association's 2013 Pumpkin Pavilion.  —photo Katherine Keller

A selection of jack-o-lanterns on display at Bay View Neighborhood Association’s 2013 Pumpkin Pavilion. —photo Katherine Keller

The Bay View Neighborhood Association (BVNA) will again present Pumpkin Pavilion, its annual Halloween festival that brings the community together to carve over 800 pumpkins for display. The jack-o-lanterns will be exhibited for two nights, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17 and 18 from 6-10pm at the Humboldt Park Pavilion, 3000 S. Howell Ave. The event also promises games, magician Tom Burgermeister, crafts, decorations, face-painting, hayrides, and live music.

Nichole Williams, BVNA president, said all pumpkin carving takes place this year at Humboldt Park, in the pavilion and in a tented, heated outdoor area Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 15 and 16, 5-9pm. The pumpkins are free to those who will carve them for the event. “We just ask that you be ready to carve!” Williams said. All carving implements will be provided. Williams said St. Francis Brewery graciously agreed to stay open until 9 and serve Halloween items including caramel apples, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, and beer cheese soup, along with their regular menu. The brewery’s contract with Milwaukee County Parks was extended a week to accommodate BVNA’s desire to incorporate the beer garden into the Halloween event.

Events on Friday, Oct. 17 run from 6-10pm and tentatively include the Bay View Middle & High School Drumline, Spooky Hayrides, magician Tom Burgermeister, fire throwers, live music, and the Grand Lighting of Pumpkins.

Williams was excited to announce that the Friday night lineup includes a very special event this year — outdoor overnight camping in Humboldt Park for BVNA members only, limited to 20 tents. Members will be notified of the event by email and invited to sign-up.

On Saturday, Oct. 18, events begin in the afternoon, and although the timetable was not finalized at press time, events will likely include Spooky Story Time, Danceworks Spooky Dance demo, hayrides, magician, live music and fire throwers. (See bayviewneighborhood.org for updated info.)

Bay View resident Bill Rouleau and Kate O’Keefe founded pumpkin Pavilion in 2008. The event has grown each year. “We will have new entertainment and way more decorations than ever before,” Williams said.

Participants can retrieve their pumpkin-creations after the event Saturday evening, after 10pm through Sunday morning to 10am. Pumpkins that are not picked up will be composted.

The event is free, but some activities, such as the hayrides, have a fee ($4 for children and $6 for adults).

BVNA is also seeking volunteers and business sponsors. For more information, contact BVNA at bayviewneighborhood@gmail.com.

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots.


THE FINE PRINT — Can female or minority business certification help my business?

September 29, 2014

By Jan Pierce

janpierceMinority and female business certifications came about as a direct and necessary result of government programs designed to give preferences to minority and female owned businesses. The policy goals were laudable — to encourage the growth of businesses owned by individuals who traditionally face higher barriers of entry into the marketplace. Unfortunately, it opened a can of worms — how to determine if businesses were really owned and operated by women or minorities. It is not that unusual for a business that is owned and operated by a man or non-minority to transfer all or a portion of the owner’s interest to someone who qualifies, in an attempt to certify that business is minority or woman-owned.

Especially in economic downturns, companies seek to maximize every advantage to preserve income. A great example was what happened during the last recession in the construction industry. Cities, counties, and states were some of the only entities with the financial ability to start new projects. All of a sudden, minority or female businesses had a distinct advantage in that market. Non-female and non-minority companies went to great lengths to create sham companies to compete for contracts earmarked for those companies.

Over the years, various governmental or private entities have created different methods to verify that businesses are actually owned and operated by women or minorities. In Wisconsin, cities, counties, and the state each have programs that certify companies who do work for them. In addition, there are a couple of private companies that do the same for large corporations that want to show the federal government that they are spending a significant amount of their contracting dollars on female and minority contractors or suppliers.

Whether or not certification will help your business depends on whether you supply a product or service that a city, county, or state needs. The construction industry is a big player in this area. Large corporations like Johnson Controls and Harley-Davidson give preference to female or minority vendors of everything from information technology to law. If you have a product or service that is in demand by these entities, there is no doubt that certification will give you a leg up on the competition. But if there isn’t a demand for your product or service, getting certified won’t make a difference.

Certification is based primarily on two criteria — ownership and control. Ownership is fairly straightforward and is determined based on the percentage of shares owned. As long as the female or minority shareholder owns 51% or more of the company, it qualifies. But that’s not enough. That owner must also be actively involved with, and in control of the business. This is often demonstrated by the owner’s qualifications and actual involvement in day-to-day operations. Resumes are reviewed and site visits are made.

If you are a woman or minority-owned business, certification is definitely worth looking into. If you haven’t started your company yet, you should take special care to make sure that it’s done correctly, and that your ownership interest is properly represented.

Send your question to jan@janpiercelaw.com. To protect your privacy, your name will not be published. 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.


PARENTHESIS — Use acetaminophen with care

September 29, 2014

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

NEW Jill Maher Headshot Dec 2013One recent night, our daughter thrashed with pain caused by an intense case of swimmer’s ear. Her sound of her motions startled me awake, and I first thought she might be having a seizure, then decided it was due to the ear pain and that I’d give her painkiller. We rarely use Tylenol, so I first had to find where we stored it and then figure out the dose. I had never seen anyone thrash with pain before so I was jittery and still waking up — not the ideal combination for determining the proper dose of an unfamiliar product.

In situations like these, it is easy to understand how a child could get too much of a medication. In our case, my mom watched our daughter on short notice, and we had some phone conversations about the dose. The appropriate number of teaspoons depends on a child’s weight, which a stand-in caregiver may not know. Considering the number of different  caregivers a child may encounter each day such as mom in the morning, a school nurse or relative during the day, and dad at night, an overdose seems even more of a possibility.

That likelihood is troubling because a painkiller overdose is dangerous. Even an over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, can cause major problems. Reactions may be less severe like nausea and vomiting or far more severe,  including liver failure or even death.

Overdosing on ibuprofen, another common painkiller, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe stomach pain, and kidney failure.

Parents may inadvertently give their child too much medication when they combine something like a cold and flu remedy, which contains acetaminophen, with acetaminophen liquid. They may not realize they are doubling up the dosage. The popular brand Tylenol is available in many forms in the children’s category — the infant type with syringe, the age 2 to 11 type, and children’s chewable tablets like gum (currently unavailable). Across the country over 600 products, including over-the-counter and prescription, contain acetaminophen. The infant version is concentrated and an older child should not be given a gulp of it, for risk of fatal overdose. I only realized that point when researching this article.

Recommendations for painkillers for children have changed over the years. Pediatricians no longer recommend aspirin for children and adolescents who have or who are recovering from chickenpox or flu symptoms due to concern over Reye’s syndrome. That syndrome, discovered in the 1960s, is a rare but serious disorder that affects organs, particularly the liver and brain. In 1986, the Food and Drug Administration required labeling on aspirin warning against use for children with chicken pox or flu symptoms. Prior to that, some companies had published the voluntary warning their labels.

My own outlook on painkillers has evolved, and I’m more likely to reach first for tablets with the active ingredient arnica (Arnica montana) when I have pain.

Discoveries like Reye’s syndrome make me wary of medication in general, and even more wary of getting the dose right. Here’s hoping we slide through the flu season unaffected.

• From 1998 to 2003, acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure (AFL) in the United States, with 48% of acetaminophen-related cases (131 of 275) associated with accidental overdose.

• A 2007 CDC population-based report estimates that, nationally, there are 1600 cases of ALF each year (all causes). Acetaminophen-related ALF was the most common etiology.

• Summarizing data from five different surveillance systems, there were an estimated 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and 458 deaths related to acetaminophen-associated overdoses per year during the 1990-1998 period.
Source: Federal Drug Administration — http://1.usa.gov/1tokboe

Read the Mayo Clinic’s advice about administering acetaminophen medicine to infants and children. http://mayocl.in/1pikZHq

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

 


South Shore Farmers Market — Music makes it even better

September 29, 2014

South Shore Farmers Market’s music lineup fine tunes the gemütlichkeit

 

Mark Budnik at the sound board finessing tone and volume for The Calamity Janes’ microphones, speakers, and sound monitors at the South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO ANGIE TORNES

Mark Budnik at the sound board finessing tone and volume for The Calamity Janes’ microphones, speakers, and sound monitors at the South Shore Farmers Market. PHOTO ANGIE TORNES

There’s nothing better than strolling through the South Shore Farmers Market on a sunny Saturday morning with a hot cup of coffee in your hand, shopping for fresh fruits, vegetables, and bakery. Throw in some live music and friendly faces and you’ve got yourself a near perfect Saturday morning in Bay View.

The South Shore Farmers Market is in its 16th year and continues to be one of the favorite markets in the city.

“I love the Farmers Market. It’s my favorite thing to do on Saturdays!” exclaimed 10-year-old Lola Crowley, who was groovin’ to the music of Holly Haebig and Jeff Bray.

Mark Budnik, the market’s music director, was part of the original group that decided to start the market back in 1999. Although it was slow-going after start-up, the group stuck together, intent on bringing the neighborhood together. “I think the first week we had six vendors maybe. And 100 people showed,” Budnik said.

The market slowly grew, and now an average of 2000-2500 people attend every week, he said. Although there has always been bakery, flowers, coffee, and produce, music wasn’t always a part of the mix. “Music wasn’t even a part of it in the beginning, but we noticed over the years that something was missing,” Budnik said.

In 2002, special events and musical guests were added as a way to enhance the sense of community. “At 9:00 we have the Special Events, which are things like sailing lessons or cooking demonstrations. Then at 10:15, we have the musical guests. People seem to really like the musical acts,” Budnik said.

As the years went on and attendance grew, Budnik became more involved with the music at the market. “The first couple of years we didn’t have a sound system. Then in 2003 we got the sound system and the (market) committee asked me if I would take over running that,” he said.

In 2007, Budnik started booking the music acts and operating the sound system. “Amy Mihelich was doing the booking, and then she asked me if I’d take over,” Budnik said. “By that point she had gotten quite a nice blend of performers. I continued with what she had done, and then I started looking around for new musicians. Milwaukee has so many great musicians. Even just here in Bay View.”

SMALL Crowley and Petajan

From left: Isabella Petajan and Lola Crowley enjoy the music of Holly Haebig and Jeff Bray PHOTO MONICA MANIACI

Budnik tries to find performers that he feels will fit into the vibe of the neighborhood. “I try to book acts that are upbeat,” he said. He also looks for performers who can play small and don’t require a large sound system. “One of our limitations is that we don’t have electricity out there. We run everything off of a couple of batteries. We can only generate so much power for a short period of time. I can’t run a big show like they would have at Chill on the Hill,” Budnik said.

Budnik, formerly a professional musician, works with a yearly budget that he uses to pay the musicians who perform at the market. “ I like being able to offer another paying venue in town for hard-working and talented musicians,” he said.

Finding a variety of music that is pleasing to all the people who visit the market is definitely something that is important to Budnik. “This year I wanted to get more women in. I realized over the years that I didn’t have many women performers,” he said. “I was thinking of our crowd and there are a lot of women. I wanted to diversify.”

This year the market’s run was 17 weeks. Its final week is October 11, and the BVMHS Marching Band is scheduled to play. “It’s a tradition. People seem to really enjoy it,” Budnik said.

Although there are a few performers who come back year after year, such as The Painted Caves, Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra, and the BVMHS Marching Band, Budnik likes to find new and interesting music. “Every year I try to get new performers in,” he said. “Especially this year, I wanted to get new bands. Almost half of the performers this year were first time performers at the market.”

The joy Budnik receives from his work is hard not to see. “It’s gratifying to see people having a good time,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about, you know?”

Every week when the music begins, a sense of harmony flows through the market, which Budnik appreciates. “People bring their blankets, their lunch. They gather around. It’s nice,” he said.

Kevin Petajan, Bay View resident and father of two, couldn’t agree more. On a chilly September morning, Petajan was sitting in the sun at the market surrounded by friends and family while local musicians Holly Haebig & Jeff Bray performed. “We love sitting here and listening to the music,” he said. “It’s fun for the kids, and it is fun for me too. Plus, we’ve got the best view in the city. You can’t go wrong.”

When his 11-year-old daughter came back from dancing to the music, she said it best, “I like all the food and stuff, but it’s definitely better with the music!”

Gemütlichkeit is a German word that in American-English parlance means cheerfulness and cozy familiarity, signifying a sense of social acceptance, belonging, and unhurried leisure.


Bay View Terrace is 50

September 29, 2014

By Kevin Meagher

Bay View Terrace, 2525 S. Shore Drive was built for $3.5 million fifty years ago.          PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Bay View Terrace, 2525 S. Shore Drive was built for $3.5 million fifty years ago. PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Looking southeast from the windows of the high-rise condos on Prospect Avenue on Milwaukee’s eastside, the skyline of Bay View is not exactly impressive. But residents who live in the building that looms large on the South Shore skyline are less concerned about what the East Siders see, than what they see when looking north from their perch at 2525 S. Shore Dr.

“We claim we have, and we are 100 percent sure, the best view of Milwaukee,” said Raejean Kanter, president of the board of directors at Bay View Terrace (BVT).

This year Bay View’s sole lakefront high-rise will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. On May 5, 1964, the ground was broken for BVT, when it was in line to become Milwaukee’s very first condominium building. A year before, the 150- by 300-foot-lot was sold for a mere $78,000 to Bay View Terrace Ltd., a value similar to some of the least expensive units in the building today. Later in 1964, the 24-story, 148-unit building was completed at the cost of $3.5 million.

It was constructed using a fairly unique process called slip forming, where the building’s formwork is continuously raised to keep pace with the concrete being poured and hardening underneath. Slip forming had been becoming more common in high-rises by the 1960’s, and was often used for constructing silos, grain elevators, and bridges in the early 20th century.

Fifty years ago BVT’s owners, whose intent was to sell the units as condos, were frustrated when the units first hit the market and did not sell. “Bay View hated it. If you go into the historic records of the hearings (on the building), this was not a loved place, so they had to rent it out. You had this huge building that was ready to go but nobody was used to the idea, in Wisconsin, of buying a condominium. And it’s interesting because now everyone is looking for condominiums,” Kanter said.

Work began on the foundation of Bay View Terrace in 1964. The prime contractor was Joseph P. Jansen. Eric Heedeby Company of Sweden performed the slip forming, a construction technique that was developed for grain silos. COURTESY BAY VIEW TERRACE VIA JOHN EBERSOL

Work began on the foundation of Bay View Terrace in 1964. The prime contractor was Joseph P. Jansen. Eric Heedeby Company of Sweden performed the slip forming, a construction technique that was developed for grain silos. COURTESY BAY VIEW TERRACE VIA JOHN EBERSOL

Only four of the 148 units sold and BVT Ltd. was forced to buy them back and convert the building to apartments, after which the units began to be leased. In 1965, according to Milwaukee City Directories, 46 units were filled. A year later, 96 units were filled, and by 1970, 142 were filled. In 1980, there was one vacancy in the building, which was the same year that BVT was converted to a condo.

The only requirement to change the building’s zoning status was that 55 of the units had to be sold before it would become official. On February 29, 1980, the 55th unit was sold and the conversion was made. Despite that, even by 1980, selling condo units was not an easy task. To induce residents to switch from a lease to condo ownership, all the renters were given the option of choosing a different unit in order to sweeten the pot, to move to a less expensive unit or upgrade to one with a better view. John McFarland, who initially purchased a unit on the 14th floor that year, was offered the chance to tear up his contract and choose a new unit with a lower price. He saw an option to save some money and picked a unit on the fifth floor, where he still resides today. At that time, any unit above the 12th floor was $1,000 more than the floors below, and any unit below the 12th floor was $500 cheaper than the floors above, while the side overlooking the lake had a $5,000 premium, according to McFarland.

Today, about 90 percent of the building is owner occupied, which may have seemed like a long shot in the 1960’s.

Inside

Over the past 50 years, not much has changed on the exterior of the building, but on the interior, most units have been remodeled in some fashion by owners. From knocking out walls, to renovated bathrooms and kitchens, to adding shelving, to installing and arranging mirrors so the city skyline is visible in every corner of the unit, the residents take pride in making their rooms unique.

The Bay View Terrace groundbreaking ceremony in 1964 was attended by (from left): Architect Robert Rasche (Rasche, Schroeder, Spransy & Associates); John Soenig, Chairman First Federal; Roberta Anacker, Miss South Shore Water Frolic; Ald. Erwin F. Zillman; Elliott G. Fitch, President Marine National Exchange Bank/Project Partner with Rasche, Schroeder, Spransy & Associates. COURTESY BAY VIEW TERRACE

The Bay View Terrace groundbreaking ceremony in 1964 was attended by (from left): Architect Robert Rasche (Rasche, Schroeder, Spransy & Associates); John Soenig, Chairman First Federal; Roberta Anacker, Miss South Shore Water Frolic; Ald. Erwin F. Zillman; Elliott G. Fitch, President Marine National Exchange Bank/Project Partner with Rasche, Schroeder, Spransy & Associates. COURTESY BAY VIEW TERRACE

The age demographics of the building residents appear to have stayed fairly static over time, with today’s residents’ ranging from 22 to 92. Wilma Lochner, age 92, a resident since 1965, holds the status of longest-lived in the building. As one might expect with a high-rise condo, there are empty nesters and retirees, with a smattering of young professionals starting families at BVT, but the sense of community is no different than any residential neighborhood. The group has holiday gatherings and condo association meetings, and every once in a while, an impromptu laundry party.

“One time about six or eight months ago we ended up with a whole doggone laundry room filled with people sitting around sipping wine, and ended up hanging around after the laundry was done because we were having so much fun,” McFarland said.

“Anything is walkable (from) here. You can walk up to KK where there are a number of restaurants, you’ve got Groppi’s, you’ve got the lake here, you’ve got South Shore Yacht Club that a lot of people in the building belong to. You’ve got the park, you’ve got churches of various denominations, and that’s all walkable,” Kanter said.

According to Kanter, many building residents have had some relationship to Bay View. They had left the neighborhood, and then moved back because they liked it so much.

And beyond the enjoyment of one other, many of the residents hold an equal fondness for the community they’ve chosen. Christine Schramek and Jan Raz own two condos in the building that they use as getaways from their full-time home in Hales Corners.

“This is our home by the lake. We looked at Delevan and Delafield because I like the water, but we like the city lifestyle and the festivals and the walk on the lake in Bay View, plus it’s almost like living in Door County, but you’re right here in Milwaukee,” Schramek said.


Handmade tile and pottery business opening in Bay View

September 29, 2014

By Katherine Keller

A display featuring the tile and home accessories offered by Terra Domus.  PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

A display featuring the tile and home accessories offered by Terra Domus. PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Handmade tile, mosaics, dinnerware, and home accessories are the hallmarks of Terra Domus Design Group, a new tenant in the Hide House in Bay View.

After a major electrical upgrade to accommodate their kilns and weeks of building furniture and fixtures to outfit their space, business partners Lin Lindner and Tim McKeehan open their doors October 1 in Building 10 of the Hide House, 2612 S. Greeley St.

The Terra Domus (Latin, “earth home”) business model features three components — a designer resource center, a tile factory, and a member-based studio/classroom for those who want to make pottery, tile, and mosaics.

The Path

Terra Domus Design Group owners Lin Linder and Tim McKeehan.  PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Terra Domus Design Group owners Lin Linder and Tim McKeehan. PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Milwaukee native Lindner is a graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools, where she was a John Marshall High School mathlete. Dissuaded from pursuing her dream to become an architect because she was not male, Lindner received a degree in Interior Design from Mount Mary College. She began her career decorating cube farms for a large local Milwaukee business but soon tired of it. She moved to Drexel Interiors where she advanced to management and during her tenure became intrigued with tile.

She encountered a detour when she was injured in a car accident. During her convalescence she began experimenting with mosaics, using pieces of the glass and plastic and broken car parts from her accident.

“My life was kind of like the broken edges,” she said. “I had small children at home. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. There was a lot of confusion.” Making mosaics became therapeutic. “There were ugly pieces next to pretty pieces,” Lindner said. “You can make the ugly pieces fit. You can nick the edges and make them fit into a beautiful mosaic.” She learned that it wasn’t the picture, but the making of it.

After her recovery, Lindner found a job with a remodeling company, where she set up the tile and stone program. That led her to Floor 360 (Delafield, Wis.), where she accepted a manufacturer’s representative job for a tile distributor. She said she commonly listened to her clients lament the dearth of tile designs in both the domestic and international markets. Lindner discovered this for herself when she unsuccessfully sought tile for her own kitchen remodeling project.

When she was introduced to handmade tile in Minneapolis, Lindner said she fell in love with it. Thinking that she might make her own tile in order to get exactly what she wanted for her kitchen in 2012, she searched for a place to make her own. That led her to Creative Fire in Wauwatosa, where she said she felt “instantly welcome and well-received.” That was a welcome surprise, she said, because she had great trepidation about trying her hand in tilemaking and did not consider herself an artist. Over a two-year period, she mastered the making of handmade tiles and mosaics. The mosaics are made with her custom tiles.

The night of Lindner’s first class was, by chance, the same night McKeehan decided to sign-up for a studio membership. They would soon become fast friends.

McKeehan hails from Golden Valley, Minn. He navigated a labyrinthine path after high school. He started out working for Dayton Commercial Interiors where he learned the trade of assembly. He worked for a food co-op were he organized, built, and maintained a membership base. During the housing boom, he worked in construction, where he helped build McMansions. Next he learned cabinet-building. He studied philosophy, pursued an education degree, took nursing courses, then received a degree in architectural technology, although soon after, realized he couldn’t “imagine sitting at a computer all day.” Along the way he married, left Minnesota, and moved to Bay View.

Later, divorce led him to deep reflection. “I was a completely blank canvas,” he said. He looked for a new direction.

McKeehan was drawn to the idea of working with clay. Like Lindner, he searched for a studio and settled on Creative Fire, where he began working with clay and the wheel. “I took to it naturally,” he said.

Lindner and McKeehan found they had a similar sense of humor. Both reveled and thrived in the energy, collegiality, and creativity they found in the studio.

Fellow studio members encouraged Lindner to consider tilemaking seriously, based on the work she was producing. McKeehan was mentored by Creative Fire’s owner Susan Seymour, who began taking his work to shows. People liked the work and it began to sell.

When Lindner’s daughter, artist Allison Brooks, persuaded her mother to apply for inclusion in 2013 Art vs. Craft show, she asked McKeehan if he would participate in the show with her. “I had observed a similar sensibility and aesthetic between my tiles and Tim’s pottery,” she said. She thought her two-dimensional tile would benefit from being displayed with McKeehan’s three-dimensional pottery.

However, their application was rejected. They learned that on August 12. Undaunted, they decided instead to start a business together, and by September 1 they had formed their LLC.

The Hide House electrical service was updated to accommodate the Terra Domus Kilns.   PHOTO TIM MCKEEHAN

The Hide House electrical service was updated to accommodate the Terra Domus Kilns. PHOTO TIM MCKEEHAN

The Spark

Their original plan was to operate in Creative Fire’s space, but they quickly realized that it was impractical, and they felt uncomfortable because they were taking up more and more of the studio. They looked for space in Wauwatosa, and then on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View, planning to create a retail operation. Finding that rent was not affordable on Bay View’s main drag, they regrouped, revised their business plan from a retail to a wholesale model, and leased space in the Hide House where cost per square foot, they said, was significantly lower than on KK.

Lindner and McKeehan intend to create the same spirit at Terra Domus that they found at Creative Fire. “I felt so comfortable. I didn’t feel judged. ‘Come in and make,’ and that was good. That’s what we want to do here,” McKeehan said. “It’s making but it’s also that community — a safe place for people to make and to be and to be connected, be part of things,” he said.

“Every piece you make has your fingerprints on it,” added Lindner. “It’s something personal to you, made with your hands. We infuse a little bit of us in everything you make.”

“It’s basically about bringing back a more authentic, satisfying approach. We have a studio space for people to come and connect and create,” McKeehan said. “And hopefully designers will come in and we will discuss who we are and what we have. And they, with their clients, can have a satisfying, very personal experience.”

“And they will feel connected with the tile or the pottery in their homes,” Lindner said.

Lindner said they selected the firefly for the business logo because it is their goal to give their clients the freedom and the confidence to communicate, collaborate, support one another, so as to be able to experience “Yes!” “That spark that is ‘Yes,’” Lindner said, alluding to that je ne sais quoi that sometimes occurs when people share ideas and make things.

Product Line, Key Customers

Tim McKeehan developed three dinnerware and home accessories lines.                        PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Tim McKeehan developed three dinnerware and home accessories lines. PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

The tile that Terra Domus produces is designed in 16 standard shapes and a thickness compatible with commercially produced tile. It is available individually, or adhered to one-square-foot mesh. They offer 36 glazes and nine textures. They also developed stone-shaped tiles that Lindner and McKeehan call their “Pebbles in Water” line.

After experimentation with six different clays, Lindner and McKeehan selected white stoneware clay, which they use for both their tile and pottery products. It tolerates high-temperature firing that makes it semi-vitreous, rendering it impervious to moisture and therefore safe for interior and exterior applications. Freeze and thaw won’t be deleterious, Lindner said.

When they open for business this month, they will launch with three product lines. Each includes both Lindner’s tile and McKeehan’s pottery: dinnerware and home accessories such as canister sets, lotion dispensers, toothbrush holders, mugs, and even house numbers. The lines are named Door County, Walker’s Point, and Washington Heights, where McKeehan moved when he left Bay View. The lines reflect design elements, shapes, hues, and textures found in each area.

Their target customers are designers. To serve them, Terra Domus’ space includes a design resource center, where designers, with or without their clients, can sit down with paper and colored pencils, along with sample tiles, granite, and stained wood. They can draw their own designs, or use worksheets Lindner developed.

Lin Lindner makes her own tiles for the mosaics she creates for designers looking for an element to fill a space over a stove or kitchen sink. PHOTO LIN LINDNER

Lin Lindner makes her own tiles for the mosaics she creates for designers looking for an element to fill a space over a stove or kitchen sink. PHOTO LIN LINDNER

Lindner is offering custom-designed mosaics because she said, “I’ve been hearing from designers that their customers have that spot above their sink or over the stove that needs a little attention.”

All sales, at this stage, will be wholesale.

McKeehan said he was approached by a pet storeowner who wanted him to make an urn for pet remains. He demurred. Still, he and Lindner could not resist toying with the idea, devising the product names “Catister” and “Pup-in-A-Cup” for a line of fictional urns.

Terra Domus Design Group
2612 S. Greeley St., Suite 123
414-269-9059; tddesigngroup.com


Lincoln Warehouse — A hive for creatives and entrepreneurs

September 29, 2014

By Sheila Julson

Originally built in 1928 to house baking operations for then-supermarket giant A&P, today Lincoln Warehouse bustles with the activity of its 130 tenants. PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Originally built in 1928 to house baking operations for then-supermarket giant A&P, today Lincoln Warehouse bustles with the activity of its 130 tenants. PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

The aging warehouses and factory buildings dotted throughout America’s cityscapes remind us of this country’s manufacturing heyday, before corporations fled overseas for cheap labor, and before corporate mergers and downsizing. Buildings left behind by once-prominent corporations have sat vacant and neglected. Others have been transformed by creative property owners into vibrant mixed-use commercial hubs, accommodating a growing number of people who choose to work for themselves as artisans and or in small business start-ups.

In Bay View, one finds buildings that formerly housed industrial giants Louis Allis, Rexnord, Chrysler, and smaller ones like J. Greenebaum Tannery (now the Hide House). One of the lesser known is Lincoln Warehouse, 2018 S. First St. (northeast corner of Becher and First), on the border of Bay View and Walker’s Point. Originally built in 1928 to house baking operations for then-supermarket giant A&P, today the structure bustles with activity. Among its 130 tenants are small-batch food and beverage manufacturers, artists, photographers, web designers, hair stylists, tattoo artists, musicians, and others that occupy the five-story, 170,000-square-foot building.

“We’re just about full,” said Lincoln Warehouse general manager Andrew Bandy, whose property management firm, ARRAND Real Estate, took over in 2011.“We have a vast array of tenants, and together they create a unique synergy in this building,” He said 5,500  square feet is available for studio build-outs, and there is heavy interest among individuals and businesses who want to call Lincoln Warehouse home.

The custom-built suites are situated around the perimeter of the building to maximize the benefits of the vast factory windows that flood spaces with natural light and frame impressive views of the city. Bandy said units start at approximately 500 square feet and go up to 7,000 square feet, and that the average suite is 700 square feet. Rents range from $395 to $850 per month, and for most, utilities are included.

Units start at approximately 500 square feet and go up to 7,000 square feet. Rents range from $395 to $850 per month with utilities included for most.

The inner space on each floor is used for storage, in lockers or open space that allows for pallets and forklifts. Country Maid is a retail deli and caterer specializing in salads and dips, located a few doors north of Lincoln Warehouse on the west side of First Street. It stores pallets of plastic trays and carryout containers in an open storage area. Bandy said Oakland Gyros also stores product at the warehouse.

An open communal space on the fifth floor is the site of gallery nights, artist events, and nonprofit fundraisers. In August, a Milwaukee Dinner Lab pop-up event featuring creations by chef Daniel Espinoza drew 60 guests to the warehouse. Bandy said event hosts are responsible for abiding by city ordinances such as providing a licensed bartender to serve alcohol on premises.

Bandy pointed out recent exterior facelifts that include paint and concrete work. Inside, the concrete floors have been stripped and refinished to preserve the industrial warehouse feel. Plumbing has been upgraded, and Bandy said the building has sprinkler systems and it meets city codes. Some artists in the building have painted colorful murals.

Do not expect polished bamboo floors or remodeled exposed beam lofts. “We’re a warehouse. We don’t apologize for that, nor do we pretend to be a Third Ward building,” Bandy said. Praising the cleanliness and safety of Lincoln Warehouse, he added, “The building is cleaned regularly, and there is a security system, since tenants have 24/7 access. We’ve had no problems here.”

Long History On South Side

Local historian Anna Passante researched the building’s history. Built in 1928, the structure originally housed the bakery operations of the A&P supermarket chain. While A&P closed its last Milwaukee store under the A&P name in 1979, she said bakery operations apparently ceased around 1961, when it last appeared in Milwaukee directories.

Frabill Manufacturing Company, a producer of fishing equipment, occupied the building during the 1960s and 1970s. Huffy Corporation, known for its bikes and sporting goods, next took over the building and operated there throughout the 1980s. The building was renamed Lincoln Warehouse in 1987, Passante said.

Richard Gold, a Boston-area attorney, bought Lincoln Warehouse in 1988. Gold grew up in Milwaukee and served in the United States Army before relocating to the East Coast. He kept his strong ties to Milwaukee and still visits the city frequently. Prior to purchasing Lincoln Warehouse, he said he had also owned a warehouse downtown, kitty-corner from Mader’s Restaurant on Old World Third Street.

Gold said that during his ownership, tenants have included NECCO, the candy company best known for Necco wafers and Sweetheart conversation hearts. He also rented to Airgas, a distributor of industrial, metal, and specialty gasses.

Gold credits Bandy with the current success of Lincoln Warehouse today. “He came up with the idea of building to suit in an attempt to attract many diverse tenants, instead of just relying on a couple of larger ones that may leave at any time,” Gold said.

Design/marketing group OCUPOP is located in Lincoln Warehouse.                      PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Design/marketing group OCUPOP is located in Lincoln Warehouse. PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Eat, Drink, Be Creative

Web designers, established and aspiring musicians, a city of Milwaukee clothing bank, Elegant Times event planning service, makeup artist Michael Weiss, piano tuning and restoration specialist Charles Turner, as well as inventors, screen printers, an exercise video producer, an organic produce distributor, crafters, and individuals who simply need a retreat for their creative endeavors are just some of the tenants that make up the creative hub of Lincoln Warehouse.

Most tenants moved in within the last three years under Bandy’s management. Bandy said that while Lincoln Warehouse handles about 90 percent of the build-outs, food and beverage businesses that use a lot of water or have other special concerns are responsible for getting their spaces up to code and obtaining requisite operating permits for their businesses.

Nikki’s Cookies makes classic shortbread and holiday-themed cookies with natural and GMO-free ingredients. Bandy said Nikki’s is Lincoln Warehouse’s longest-term tenant, leasing space for more than 25 years. Clover Distribution Inc., a spice company, has been at Lincoln Warehouse for 20 years. “We have longevity here,” Bandy said, which provides a nice mix of a few older tenants and many recent ones. Among the newest tenants is Madison-based Bittercube, LLC, who is moving in this fall. Bittercube makes high-end bitters for cocktails.

Sculptor Matt Connell creates large-scale custom models of trees, tiki totems, guitars — anything his clients request. He appreciates the energetic ambiance within the building. “The option of a custom build-out was a draw,” he said, and is why he chose workspace in the warehouse.

The Green Glass Company, founded by Oscar Wientjes, could be considered the ultimate recycler of glass bottles. His business occupies a suite on the fourth floor and specializes in upcycling beverage bottles into drinking glasses, vases, and its patented wine goblet design. Walls with metal shelving display glass products crafted from clear, frosted, blue, topaz, and green bottles. Some of the glasses still retain the bottle’s original, vintage painted labels like Rolling Rock beer or Boylan soda. Green Glass also applies company names or logos, via sandblasting, for custom orders and offers its own designs and patterns.

This suite is the future home of Follicle Engineerz and Cream City Coiffure.       PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

This suite is the future home of Follicle Engineerz and Cream City Coiffure. PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Hair designer David Romo, who is in the process of gathering reclaimed furniture and decor for his new salon Follicle Engineerz, has been styling locks at south side salons for 15 years. When he decided to strike out on his own, a friend who rents space in Lincoln Warehouse recommended the building. “I like the idea of a salon in a warehouse,” Romo said. He has an established client base and does not rely on walk-ins. Fellow stylist Katie Mrotek will share the space with him for her new venture, Cream City Coiffure.

Romo praised the natural light shining through the immense factory windows. “That’s important when you’re working with coloring,” he noted. Bandy is working with Romo to install power garage-style doors to separate the workstations in the salon.

Howl Street Recordings has been an established recording studio in Bay View since 2007. Owner Shane Hochstetler originally set up shop at 2505 S. Howell Ave., but at the beginning of the year, the building was sold and he was forced to vacate. He moved into the 1,200-square-foot space inside Lincoln Warehouse in April.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” Hochstetler said of the move, “I liked the old space, but here the rooms are nicer and more spacious.”

Leslie Davis moved her art restoration and framing business, Leslie Davis Preservation Framing, to Lincoln Warehouse in February. She was previously located in the Third Ward, but she cited good building management and reasonable rent as primary reasons for her move.

The beverage businesses that occupy Lincoln Warehouse have gotten much attention lately. Enlightened Brewing Company joined the ranks of both established and up-and-coming craft brewers in Milwaukee, carrying on the brewing tradition here in the nation’s beer capital. Another adult beverage business, Twisted Path Distillery, moved to Lincoln Warehouse March 1. Founder and Bay View resident Brian Sammons said the company will offer vodka, gin, light and dark rum, and rye whiskey. “I’ll have a tasting room here in this space and sell directly to people,” Sammons said. He hopes to eventually also sell through distributors.

Lincoln Warehouse
2018 S. 1st St.; lincolnwarehouse.com
(414) 744-2018

Sheila Julson, sjulson@wi.rr.com, is a freelance writer and blogs at cappersfarmer.com/blogs/return-to-our-roots.


Local authors to read at Studio Lounge

September 24, 2014

Robert Vaughan, Tom Biel, Doug Rose, and Ken Walker will read from their recently released and soon to be released works of fiction of poetry Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 7:30pm to 8:45pm at Studio Lounge, 2246 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Vaughan’s recent collection, Addicts and Basements is a book of prose poems,. His short stories, flash fiction, and prose has appeared in hundreds of print and online journals. He currently leads writer’s workshops at Red Oak Writing in Milwaukee.

Badlands is Biel’s first book. The short story collection has received several awards, including the Independent Publishers BookAward for short fiction. He teaches English at Rufus King HIgh School.

Rose is the author of Bolt, his first novel that won the 2014 Midwest Independent Publisher’s Association fiction award. He served in the United States Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and is currently a private practice attorney.

Walker’s forthcoming novel, Mercer, is set in inner city Milwaukee during the 1960s. Drawing on the experiences of his youth, Walker’s novel explores teen friendships, family, and the daily struggles of survival while living in poverty. Walker is a retired Milwaukee Public Schools teacher.


THE FINE PRINT — How does a contractor use construction liens to protect its interest?

September 2, 2014

By Jan Pierce

janpierceIn a previous column about construction liens, I explained them from the perspective of the homeowner. A construction lien is a very special kind of lien that is intended to protect contractors and suppliers who do not get paid by owners or other contractors.  They don’t require the filing of a lawsuit, and upon filing, they relate back to the last date of work, and take priority over any subsequent liens or mortgages.

A contractor can place a construction lien against the owner’s property simply by filing the proper documents with the Clerk of Court. The tricky part is making sure the proper notice (or notices) are given within what are very strict timeframes. Construction liens can only be filed within six months of the last date of work. And at least 30 days prior to filing a lien, the contractor must deliver, to the owner, a notice of intent to file a lien. This is a warning to the owner that a lien will be filed if the balance isn’t paid. It effectively shortens the time to start action against the owner to no more than five months.

Also, within 10 days of starting work on a project, subcontractors on residential jobs are required to provide the owner with notice of the subcontractor’s lien rights. This notice requirement also applies to general contractors who hire subcontractors. The easiest way to make sure this requirement is not missed is to include the required language in a written contract. The leverage a construction lien gives a contractor is that it ties up property, making it virtually impossible to sell or refinance, while the lien is in place. A construction lien can also be foreclosed, just like a mortgage. To do so requires filing an additional lawsuit, and it must be started within two years after the date the lien was filed. Filing a lawsuit is expensive, but it tends to get action. The goal isn’t necessarily to get the property, but to put pressure on the owner to pay. Often the bank that holds the first mortgage on the owner’s home will put pressure on the owner to pay.

A subcontractor or supplier can also file a lien even if the general contractor has been paid. This may seem unfair, but it’s why owners should make sure they get lien waivers from subcontractors and suppliers when paying the general contractor. The fact that the owner needs to be this concerned about liens keeps the pressure on the general contractor to pay his subcontractors and suppliers. If the general contractor has been paid, but has not paid the subcontractors and suppliers, it is likely in violation of the Theft by Contractor law. Such violations are punishable both civilly and criminally.

Send your question to jan@janpiercelaw.com. To protect your privacy, your name will not be published. 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.

 


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