Tippecanoe Library events

December 31, 2015

Playgroup With Stories; Fridays, Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, 10:30 to 11:30am.

A 20-minute story time for children and their parents or guardian is followed by open play time with a variety of age-appropriate, educational toys. For children ages 1-4 with a parent or guardian. Also Jan. 15, 22, 29.

Musical Story Time; Monday, Jan. 11, 6-6:30pm.

Sing, listen, and play rhythm instruments while moving to music with Major Music for Minors and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Book Explorers; Thursday, Jan. 21, 4-5pm.

Families are encouraged to visit the library the third Thursday of each month to read aloud the first chapter of a book, followed by a fun activity, craft or game. Books will be chosen at a 4th-6th grade reading level.


Bay View Library children’s events

December 31, 2015

Preschool Story Time; Thursdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 10:30 to 11am.

Preschoolers are invited to the library for fun stories, songs, and finger plays designed to help develop important literacy skills needed prior to learning how to read. Childcare centers are welcome.

Storytelling and Book Creation; Saturday, Jan. 9, 10:30am to Noon.

Discover your inner author and illustrator with Milwaukee Public Television. Learn the basics of storytelling with hands-on activities, and continue the fun with a craft to take home. Learn details on how to enter your original book in this year’s MTPV PBS KIDS Writers Contest.

Children’s Fancy Winter Tea Party; Tuesday, Jan. 19, 6 to 7pm.

Lose those winter blues by donning your fanciest attire for a winter tea party. Featuring hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and extraordinary winter crafts.


Bay View Historical Society house concert

December 31, 2015

Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen will perform a concert of original and folk-oriented music on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4pm at the Beulah Brinton House, 2590 S. Superior St.

The suggested donation is $10 at the door.

Reservations are recommended: 414-702-6053 or beulahbrintonhouseconcerts@gmail.com.


Bay View winter window winners

December 31, 2015

The KK BID’s first annual Winter Wonder Windows competition winners have been selected. Winners were chosen by the members of the BID’s Streetscape Committee. Twenty businesses participated in the competition.

The Brass Rooster  — PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

The Brass Rooster — PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

The 2015 Winners

Most Creative 

The Brass Rooster & The Hen House (2250-2252 S. KK)

Biggest Visual Impact 

Wild Haven Fiber Company (2658 S. KK)

The Griswold Award  

American Family—Joe Setum Agency (3457 S. KK)

Most Eco-Friendly 

La Carcacha Auto Repair Shop (2484 S. Howell)

La Carcacha — PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

La Carcacha — PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

Honorable Mention Awards:

Freya Salon for the intensity of its lights (2318 S. KK)

Bay View Homes for its nostalgic, traditional design (2216 S. KK)

Refuge Café for its message of religious tolerance (422 E. Lincoln)

Cream City Real Estate for the elegance of its design (3474 S. Pennsylvania )

View all the entries: goo.gl/v4nJJU


BVNA January and February open meetings

December 31, 2015

Bay View Neighborhood Association has announced its first two public board meetings of 2016.  They will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 6:30pm and Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6:30pm. Both will take place in the Humboldt Park Pavilion.


Historical Society Elects New Officers

December 31, 2015

The Bay View Historical Society elected its new board officers in November. They are Kevin Petajan, president; Anne Maedke, vice president; Mary Fisher, secretary; and Denise Laack, treasurer.

New board members were elected in December. They are John Sargent (two year term), John Fisher (3 year term), and Laura Hickman (3 year term).


IN BALANCE — The right cup of tea

December 31, 2015

By Aleisha Anderson, L.Ac

Aleisha Anderson Head ShotSustainable health practices need to begin with a simple start. Tea is a good example.

It is a great companion to accomplishing health goals and an effective remedy for many common health complaints. Tea leaves are harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant that is rich in powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Tea is an immune boosting tonic that possesses variations of nutrients and other characteristics based on the varietal as well as processing techniques.

Tea both stimulates mental clarity and soothes emotions. It invigorates the blood and qi while relaxing the muscles and clearing fatigue.

Further benefits derived from tea include improved digestion, strengthened body systems, and increased longevity.

A simple description of the most common varieties of tea may help one find the right cup of tea, without guidance from a trained herbalist.

Green tea is the most commonly consumed tea. It tends to be bitter and more draining, which is effective in clearing heat in the liver and digestive system. Its anti-bacterial and anti-virus properties affect the mouth and intestines, which help bowel movements and the clearing of toxins from the body. In addition, green tea has been shown to regulate cholesterol and high blood pressure, improve blood flow, and lower blood sugar. Green tea is useful for general health and wellness and best consumed with food.

White tea generally contains less caffeine per cup than green, oolong, or black tea. White tea is the least processed of all teas and has a sweeter, milder flavor with a cooling nature, so it can be used to cool and detoxify the body. Studies show that white tea may also be helpful for relieving rheumatoid arthritis; lowering blood sugar, blood pressure; high cholesterol; enhancing immune system function; preventing cancer; and protecting eye health. It also is said to possess anti-aging properties.

Black tea has a strong flavor and the highest caffeine content. It is known to reduce fat, protein, and low-density “bad” cholesterol. Rich in fluoride, black tea also promotes dental health. Additionally, research has found that black tea has beneficial impacts for high cholesterol, diarrhea, tooth decay, low-concentration levels, digestive problems, poor blood circulation, high blood pressure, and asthma.

The caffeine content of oolong tea is low. It provides mental relaxation. The health benefits of oolong tea have been studied and include reducing chronic bodily conditions such as heart diseases, relieving inflammatory disorders, providing vital antioxidants, reducing high cholesterol levels, and promoting robust skin and good dental health.

In addition to the teas listed above, there are numerous other herbs that can be blended using dried fruits, herbs, and flowers that provide direct symptomatic relief. Ginger, for example, is extremely effective for improving digestion and may be infused with boiling water to be taken like tea. We are fortunate to have some really delicious medicinal teas and herbal infusions available to us right here in Milwaukee. I very commonly prescribe herbs in the form of flavorful medicinal teas or blended infusions. Some of the brands I trust are Rishi, Urbal Tea, Traditional Medicinals, and Triple Leaf Tea. These are high-quality teas and many of the blends are named to reflect their beneficial qualities (Tummy Tamer, Winter Wellness, or Relaxation).

Herbs work slowly and heal the body with consistent use. Stronger teas and infusions will produce almost immediate symptomatic relief, while others will build lasting results with regular use. Make tea part of the daily routine.

Bay View resident Aleisha Anderson, L.Ac., is the clinic director and acupuncturist at Mke Mindbody Wellness, an integrative wellness center with holistic therapies focused on mental health. More information: mkewellness.com.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this column is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. 


Natural ingredients, local vendors featured in Bay View boutique

December 31, 2015

By Sheila Julson

SMALL Salon Thor Boutique KRESSE

A Hmong family near Chiang Mai, Thailand makes delicate hand-carved and hand-painted soaps that strikingly resemble real flowers at first glance. — PHOTO JENNIFER KRESSE

When Salon Thor co-owner Thor Xiong attended a training seminar last year, he talked with someone who told him about her plans to set up an artists’ boutique in her Ohio salon. Intrigued by the idea, Xiong, along with his partner and co-owner Dave Brazeau, opened The Boutique at Salon Thor in November 2014.

Located at the front of the salon, the boutique features jewelry, purses, bags, soaps, candles, and more, with most items made by artists in Bay View. “We want to showcase local artists,” Xiong said. “We know how expensive it is to have a storefront. A lot of these people can’t have a storefront to showcase how talented they are.”

The most local of all the artists represented in Salon Thor is Big White Yeti scented candles. “They’re just two blocks away from here,” Brazeau noted. Xiong said the candles are popular and known for their consistency in both scent and texture.

Cloud Nine Soap Company of Hartland, Wis. offers scents such as cranberry and fig, and Wisconsin honey, with the top of the soap bar shaped like a honeycomb.

Most the products for sale in the boutique are made from natural ingredients, Xiong said. He noted that more people are becoming aware not only of what they ingest but also what they apply to their hair and skin. They are moving away from products with long lists of ingredients that they don’t recognize or trust.

The boutique also offers leather purses and crafted metal jewelry from Scarred for Life. Brazeau said Scarred owner Jen Loberg’s workshop is at the Marian Center for Nonprofits. Her purses are made from hide scraps from Seidel Tanning in Riverwest. One can also find Joaniez Bagz—bags made from empty coffee bags from local roasters.

Earrings crafted in different metals by SusanB’s Workshop are very popular, Xiong said, and people seeking decorative ornaments for their plants can find works crafted by Karen’s Glass Art. One of Xiong’s clients, Juliane Rae Mueller, makes homemade cards, and KDH Art Studios’ hand sewn and painted scarves gracefully flow from a display.

A Hmong family near Chiang Mai, Thailand makes delicate hand-carved and hand-painted soaps that strikingly resemble real flowers at first glance. Xiong is Hmong, and he brought the soaps back from one of his visits to Thailand. The woman who crafts most of the flower soaps starts with a bar of white soap and uses an Exacto knife to carve intricate petals and other details.

Xiong and Brazeau, who try to feature unique things not seen elsewhere, find some of their vendors at shows and events, while others reach out to them.

The featured items stay true to Xiong’s and Brazeau’s commitment to responsibly and sustainably sourced items. The salon carries hair products by eco-friendly lines such as Italy-based Davines, a small family-owned business whose product line is dedicated to environmentally- friendly and zero-impact production. Their labels list ingredients, as well as the names of farms in Italy where the botanical ingredients were sourced.

Chiang Mai Connection

Xiong and Brazeau visit Southeast Asia every year. They bought a condo in Chiang Mai and during their yearly trek, they visit the Ptea Clara orphanage, near Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. They decided to visit while vacationing several years ago, and moved by their experience, they’ve visited the orphanage ever since.

Xiong and Brazeau, the only American visitors the orphanage has ever had, always bring boxes of school supplies, toys, and games, as well as needed cleaning supplies for the staff. Xiong remarked that prior to the first visit, he wasn’t sure what to expect, but found Ptea Clara to be run efficiently and the children well cared for.

Brazeau said there is a metal bin outside of Ptea Clara where people can hand over a baby that they cannot afford to care for.

“I thought most of these kids didn’t have parents, but they do,” Xiong said. “They can’t afford to raise them, so they know that if they bring their child [to Ptea Clara], it’s a safe place and they’ll get a good education.”

Xiong and Brazeau said they know that more rewarding experiences await. “One small child held our hands all the way to the gate when we were leaving and his eyes teared up,” Brazeau recalled. It’s very hard to leave them, but they always know we’ll be back, and we always know that we’ll be back.”

The Boutique at Salon Thor
3128 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
414-482-2225; goo.gl/EwZsvb

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and blogs for Capper’s Farmer.


HALL MONITOR — Politics in the classroom

December 31, 2015

By Jay Bullock

Jay1headshot“Please tell me it isn’t true,” read a recent email to me. “I found out you’re actually a teacher. Yikes! Now I know why [Wisconsin Governor Scott] Walker is pushing for expanding vouchers! It’s to keep kids away from partisan hacks like you!”

This was not about anything I wrote here in the Compass or from a parent, but some random person responding to my other, more political writing online.

The funny thing—not ha-ha funny, but ironic funny—is that in school I am anything but a partisan hack. Because I’m ‘internet-famous’, I watch my in-class speech very carefully. The last thing I need is to give some disgruntled politician or internet troll an excuse to go after my livelihood. Although a simple online search would give my students a wide-open window into my politics, I am completely opaque with them on this topic.

In 2012, for example, most of my students were convinced that I had voted for Mitt Romney. Their reasoning? I am white and I refused to say which candidate I had actually voted for. To them, silence suggested embarrassment or fear to admit to something they would find upsetting, i.e., opposition to President Obama.

In 2014, students pressed me again about my vote, but this election was little trickier: they knew teachers generally didn’t care for Walker (the feeling, I know, is mutual) but since I wouldn’t even hint at my actual inclinations, many assumed I voted for Walker anyway.

There is in fact an MPS policy against politicking in class or with school resources—Mayor Tom Barrett’s wife, who formerly taught for MPS, once got into trouble for breaking it. It’s not a completely terrible policy, especially considering the power dynamic between teachers and their students.

Yet it remains true that lots of teachers, liberal and conservative, not just in my school, but all over the city and state and country, are less careful about politics in the classroom. And though recent events like the Wisconsin recall elections might make you think this is a new phenomenon, it isn’t.

I remember when I was in high school, my AP U.S. Government teacher was an unabashed free-market Republican who routinely impressed upon us students the necessity of small governments, low taxes, and lax regulation. Those things, he said, were what made this country great, and God help us if that horrible Bill Clinton should get elected.

What is recent, say the last five years or so, is that more and more of my students are bringing politics to the classroom. Their Facebook newsfeeds and other social media are full of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The political opinions of their favorite actors and singers and athletes are more accessible than ever. Terrorism, climate change, the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and scores of other issues are constantly on their smartphones and on their minds. As we careen into 2016, my students are bringing politics to me, not the other way around.

When students want to know where I stand, I typically ask them instead what their opinion is and what facts and evidence they have to support it. Pushback forces them to hone their reasoning skills, even when I might already fully agree with them. Does it frustrate them? Sure, but they come out of it better thinkers.

None of this actually answers the most relevant question, though, which is whether keeping politics out of the classroom, muffling teachers, and tamping down student excitement over political engagement, is a good idea. Some research suggests not.

I’m not saying it’s good practice for teachers to be preachy and partisan. Rather, studies suggest that if schools want to close the achievement gaps, they should be engaging students in curricula that are culturally relevant and centered around social justice—ideas of racial and economic equality, nonviolence, environmentalism, and cultural diversity.

I guess when I put it that way, it does almost make me sound like a raving leftist. But support for such teaching doesn’t just come from radical fringe groups, but staid, mainstream organizations as the U.S. Department of Education, George Lucas’s Edutopia, and the National Education Association.

Even MPS, with its no-politics-in-the-classroom policy, recently updated its high school graduation requirements to include service learning, which asks students to assess the needs of their communities and address them in positive ways. However, the requirement is merely that this happens just once during four years of high school.

At this moment, though, when students are more politically engaged than ever and MPS needs desperately to close its achievement gaps, it may be time to loosen—I wouldn’t say totally end—the prohibitions on politics in the classroom. Encourage schools and teachers to use what students are already interested in to push them beyond their academic and cultural comfort zones. Children will learn more, more willingly, and, if we’re lucky, turn out to be better adults for it.

Jay Bullock is a partisan hack and an English teacher at Bay View High School. Email him at mpshallmonitor@gmail.com.


LOOKING BACK — Low-Income Duplex Conversion Boiled Over

December 31, 2015

By Katherine Keller

Last month in our new “Looking Back” column, we reported that the sale of a duplex on Superior Street to the Milwaukee Housing Authority caused the outcry of Bay View residents who were opposed to it. This month we take a look at another outcome of the residents’ opposition, the withdrawal of the city of Milwaukee from the federal program that funded the MHA purchase of the Bay View home.

In December 1981, nearly 1,000 Milwaukee residents signed a petition expressing their opposition to the purchase of a duplex home at 2786-88 S. Superior Street by the Milwaukee Housing Authority as part of a Department of Housing and Urban Development low-income housing program. The opposition was led by Bay View resident Richard Spieler, who lived near the duplex.

Leshig Wyozyhioski, a retired American Motors employee who planned to move to Florida in early 1982, sold his home to MHA for $85,000 in October 1981. The sale incensed some of his neighbors who presented then-District 14 Ald. Daniel Ziolkowski with a petition.

The petition asked that MHA return the former Wyozyhioski home to the open market for resale or that its sale be rescinded.

In a few short weeks, opposition to the MHA purchase grew to the degree that it spurred the Milwaukee Common Council to approve an ordinance in November 1981 to withdraw from the HUD program that funded the “scattered-site low income housing units program” that converted single-homes and duplexes to low-income housing units.

The Bay Viewer, a local newspaper, reported Spieler’s objection in his testimony to MHA. “The thing that bothers me the most is that by moving people into a neighborhood like this, which is a middle class area, you reward low-income people by moving them into a higher-income neighborhood. But in doing that you are telling people who have worked to get there that their efforts were not really worthwhile. …Part of moving to any neighborhood is proof that you have earned the right to be there.”

Spieler and others who signed the petition were supported by Ziolkowski, who sponsored the measure to withdraw from the scattered-site housing HUD program. Mayor Henry Maier vetoed the measure but the Common Council overturned it by an 11-5 margin on December 15.

The petition, however, failed, and the duplex on Superior remained in the possession of the Milwaukee Housing Authority. It has remained a two-family home that is rented to families who qualify for the subsidy-based lower-income rent.


PAREN(T)HESIS — Important things first

December 31, 2015

NEW Jill Maher Headshot Dec 2013The new year of parenting will be filled with school, sports, music, and hopefully lots of fun. Amidst all the excitement and demands, how do parents keep sane?

One sanity-preserving tactic I’m planning to emphasize this year didn’t come from Facebook, Pinterest, or a blog—it just popped into my head. It’s not the ever popular and helpful idea of staying mindful and being in the moment, which does help calm my brain when I practice it.

Instead, it’s prioritizing the things with long-term effects over the short-term ones. For example, in a busy week that is overstuffed, a dentist appointment wins over a haircut. Healthy teeth are significant in the long run while today’s haircut doesn’t affect the future. Similarly, if we really have to get out the door soon because we’re already a minute or two behind schedule, brushing teeth wins over combing hair.

Taking time to listen when our daughter is really upset wins over making it to an event on time. Occasionally, hearing her out is more important, and we just have to be late.

Snuggling with our daughter at bedtime wins over pre-selecting my clothes for the following workday. Unless I’m giving a presentation or have a big meeting, snuggle time is going to win because it’s much more valuable.

Having friends over, even if the house is messy, wins over cleaning. This is a challenging one but I want to enjoy friends and look past the clutter. The house can be straightened up another day.

As parents and caregivers, we can’t do it all or we’d get no sleep. We’ve got to pick something so we should go with the important stuff. Maybe it’s the makings of a good New Year’s resolution.

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


Stately companion of grace and grandeur

December 31, 2015

By Katherine Keller

 With a girth of 16 feet, this silver maple dwarfs Gladys Vaught’s home on Griffin Avenue. It is estimated that the tree is about 120 years old.     — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

With a girth of 16 feet, this silver maple dwarfs Gladys Vaught’s home on Griffin Avenue. It is estimated that the tree is about 120 years old. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

About two months ago I met Gladys Vaught. I went to her home to pick up photographs and news clippings of the Quonset and Wingfoot homes that she and her family lived in after World War II. As I walked toward her front door, I was awestruck by the enormous silver maple tree that stands next to the house.

Gladys and her husband Harlan bought their house, 3410 S. Griffin Ave., in 1961.

After looking through her collection of clippings and photos, we talked about the tree, a silver maple. She told me of her love and admiration for the tree and of her attachment to it.

The silver maple in 1961. COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

The silver maple in 1961. — COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

This photo from the 1920s shows the silver maple as a ‘mere sapling’ compared to its present height and girth. — COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

This photo from the 1920s shows the silver maple as a ‘mere sapling’ compared to its present height and girth. — COURTESY GLADYS VAUGHT

Referencing a 1920s  picture of her home, Gladys told me, “The maple is in that photo and it was already a big tree back then,” she said. The house was built in 1910.

I think that maple is one of the biggest trees I have seen in Milwaukee, although the Copper Beech in South Shore Park is nearly as large in girth, if not height. I decided a story about the tree would be of interest to our readers, and I wondered if we could determine its age.

I asked John Ebersol to measure the circumference because that is the starting point when calculating the age of a living tree. He did. He said it’s 16 feet.

I found two websites that each provided metrics to estimate the age of a silver maple but they produced conflicting results. So I turned to an expert, here in our backyard, for advice.

FUN FACT On March 26, 1895, King Alfonso planted a pine sapling near Madrid and started Spain’s Arbor Day.

“A 16-foot circumference would equal about a 61-inch diameter,” said Dave Sivyer, City of Milwaukee Dept. of Public Works Forestry Services Manager. “The silver maple is a fast growing species, so if it averaged 0.5 inches diameter growth annually, it would be no more than 120 years old.”

Gladys Vaught said her tree’s roots run under her house and extend far and wide beneath most of her lot.   — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

Gladys Vaught said her tree’s roots run under her house and extend far and wide beneath most of her lot. — PHOTO KATHERINE KELLER

That means the giant maple tree sprouted about 1895.

“Still, that’s quite old for an urban tree,” Sivyer said. “The American elm, another fast growing tree in our area, averages about 0.4 inches diameter growth annually. So 0.5 inches, while it doesn’t sound like much, is probably the maximum average annual growth rate for the silver maple.”

The silver maple is native to North America and is one of the most common trees in the United States. Its wood is used as pulp for paper, and for furniture, flooring, and musical instruments. Its sap can be used for making maple syrup but its sugar content is lower than that of the sugar maple, a close relative to the silver maple, which is the preferred source for syrup makers.

Gladys reveres the tree and said, with a twinkle, she tells it that she wants it to stay around longer than she does.

I asked her if she would share more of her thoughts and memories about the tree. This is what she wrote.

For 54 years I have been privileged to share my yard with Ms. Maple aka Her Majesty. She is not just a tree; she is a part of our family.

Through the years, four children, six grandchildren, and now six great-grandchildren, have enjoyed her many gifts. In the spring, her helicopter seeds rain down on them. 

Through the summer, they enjoy the shade she provides. In fall, they run through the blanket of leaves she lays out over the lawn.

In one of her huge arms is a hollowed out cavity that becomes the nursery for two to three baby squirrels, and then she’s their playground for the rest of the summer.

One year I saw a mother raccoon carry her two babies up into that cavity to keep them safe from danger. They lived there for two months, and when they left, the squirrels moved back in.

In heavy winds, her dead branches break off, which then are used for our many family bonfires.

Many species of birds can be seen and heard singing in her mighty branches and the woodpeckers enjoy the insects in her bark.

Her Majesty’s branches loom over my home and her vast root system runs under the house and lawn. She’s my air conditioning in the summer.

Family and friends come to sit on the patio under her canopy of branches and they tell me how they feel stress-free as they relax there.

If you lean up against her for a time, you may just feel her energy as I have many times.

No, she isn’t just a tree, she an old friend.

  —Gladys Vaught


Next Page »