Spottlight — Selling/Moving With Pets

June 30, 2017

By Toni Spott

Toni Spott

Bay View is a huge ‘pet neighborhood,’ and is especially characterized by its multitude of dog lovers! With so many people moving in the summer — with pets — it’s a good idea to stop and think about what you can do to help your pet survive the move with the smallest degree of stress.


Buying or selling a home is a very stressful event through each step of the entire process. There are so many ups and downs and it can be like a roller coaster ride sometimes.

Well, just imagine being a cat or a dog and not knowing what the heck is going on! All of a sudden there are strangers coming into your house and you are being taken out of the house or put into a cage — over and over again.

Pets can be even more stressed by the experience than we are, or so it seems. So here are some strategies to ease the experience for your beloved pets.

Arrange to have someone take your pet or be with them at your home when you have showings. If they are accustomed to being in a crate, then put their favorite blanket and toy in a crate, and place the crate in the basement, if at all possible.

Put a sign on the door to the basement or in the area where you placed the crate to alert visitors so no one is surprised. The sign should instruct people not to put their fingers or hands into the crate as animals may not act normally when stressed and may scratch or bite.

Do not assume your cat will stay hidden during showings. Put your cat in a kennel in a quiet place, and again, post a sign alerting visitors. Under no circumstances should you allow your cat to remain unconfined. Keep it in a crate or in a friend’s home to prevent it from racing outdoors the to seek ‘safety.’

Most importantly, please do not leave your pet in the car during showings! It’s summer and it only takes a short amount of time for a dog or cat to be in life-threatening conditions because of elevated temperatures in a vehicle. Cracking a window is not the solution. Placing your pet in crate in your home, leaving your pet with a friend or neighbor, or having a friend stay with the pet in a closed room are the wisest, safest, and most humane strategies to protect it.

Here are a few things for pet owners to keep in mind to get top dollar for your home


You probably don’t smell your pet because you are used to the odor but a buyer is not. Do not use air fresheners, as people with allergies will have a reaction. Use an enzyme cleaner or another natural solution to clean a rug. Wash pet beds and clean the carpeting. Cat urine is the worst and is extremely difficult to get out of carpet or floors. Hire a professional, if possible.

Food, Toys, and Potty Stuff 

Make sure litter boxes are clean and doggy pads are put away. Remove food and water bowls, if possible. Pick up all pet toys and put them away. If you have cat trees or cages, put them out of sight.

Moving Essentials

Records Request your pet’s veterinary records so you can take them with you, or if you already have a new vet, ask for the records to be sent directly to them. Update pet tags with your new address. If your pet has a chip, make sure the data associated with it is updated.

Supplies Be sure to keep a sufficient supply of food and water with you during the move, as well as any medication your pet may require.

Car Travel If you will be moving by car, make sure you have your pet’s bed with you in the car so when you make overnight stops, they will have a comfortable and familiar place of their own. Also keep plastic bags and kitty litter on hand.

Air Travel Make sure you check with the airline ahead of time so you are aware of its requirements or restrictions concerning your pet.

New Home Research local pet laws in your new city. Introduce your pet to the neighbors so that if it escapes, your neighbors will know it belongs to you.

Apartments and Condos Always ask before signing a lease or purchase agreement, if pets are allowed. Acquire a copy of the homeowners association (HOA) rules and read them thoroughly.

If you have a pet in your life, consider its needs just as you do those of your family. Everyone will be less stressed in the end.

Happy moving—with happy, safe pets!

Toni Spott Sustainable Agent, Keller Williams Realty; 414-788-4255;
Facebook: Toni Spott’s Real Estate Resource; @ToniSpottsRealEstateResource

Paren(t)thesis — Tough Conversations

June 30, 2017

By Jill Rothenbueler Maher

Kids are known to “say the darndest things.” And sometimes they ask the darndest things.

Kids tend to pose questions while parents are engaged in an activity like walking or driving. Once in a while, adults get a minor shock when a question is flung from the back seat about how babies are made. When answering, there can be a natural desire to evade or rely on a trope involving a stork, but experts say that’s the wrong approach.

In fact, a highly recommended book is It’s NOT the Stork! — A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends written by Robie H. Harris. The informative text manages to make the ultimate awkward topic as comfortable as possible. Michael Emberley’s clear illustrations are engaging and child-friendly, not clinical. A little bird and a bee inject humor and insight via their comments and observations, and they also affirm a range of feelings kids may experience.

Harris authored a small series of books that children and parents can explore sequentially. The progression reinforces the principle that sex and sexuality shouldn’t be a single, pivotal conversation. Instead, it should be an ongoing topic over time.

Of course, kids occasionally talk about it when they are at play together or at school. They also get information and values from media. Yet kids do want their parents to be a source of information, according to experts such as those at the nonprofit Advocates for Youth. Parents are even a preferred source of information.

Most adults find discussing the topic with their children a little embarrassing, and some parents never learned about sex as children in their home, so they may find it especially embarrassing to raise the topic with their own children. Experts say that it’s important to go ahead and venture into the conversation and demonstrate that it’s an area they can discuss.

It’s important to keep talking about this, even if kids are not asking.

More info:

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

In Balance — Cultivating Compassion

June 30, 2017

By Susan Johnston

It seems the current social and political climate has left many people a bit more on edge lately. Divides seem to be getting more pronounced, leaving people feeling angry and frustrated no matter what side of the fence they fall on.

For many, the current situation may feel hopeless, but it as a great opportunity for personal, as well as social growth. This is a perfect opportunity to use this time of unrest to cultivate compassion in oneself and the community.

One of the best ways to open the heart and quiet the mind is through the practice of meditation. This practice is essential to allow oneself to feel compassion.

But how do we learn how to meditate when we are already feeling so overwhelmed?

Acupuncture can be an excellent teacher. Acupuncture treatments put the mind in the alpha state, a meditative consciousness, without the recipient having to “do” anything. A treatment can teach your body and mind how to relax and be open to a greater awareness.

Each time you receive a treatment your body is able to experience and practice entering the alpha state naturally, bringing balance to the body, quieting the mind, and opening the heart. It is a wonderful and simple way to begin your journey into cultivating compassion.

Pema Chodron, a Tibetan Buddhist nun and director of the Gampo Abbey, offers an excellent meditation practice to become more open and compassionate.

First, sit in meditation focusing on your breath. As thoughts and feelings come up, recognize them without judgment. If you feel angry, breathe the anger in, allowing it to fill you with the awareness that many others are also feeling angry. As you exhale, allow yourself to release the anger and instead, send out calm compassion and happiness to all who may be feeling anger.

This can be applied for any emotion that may arise. You can choose what you wish to send out in the world to help yourself and others heal.

There is no right or wrong when practicing this way so try not to get hung up on being perfect. More importantly, make this meditation practice something you strive to do each day, if only for five minutes. You will be doing something positive both for yourself and for your community. The practice will help open your heart to yourself and others, thus cultivating your compassion.

The more you practice being aware of the times when you are triggered by situations in your life, the less you will be thrown off course. You will learn to recognize that you, or others around you, are also being triggered. Instead of reacting, you will slow down, let go, and move forward with a clear mind and open heart.

This work isn’t easy. As your heart opens and you feel greater compassion for yourself and others, many feelings may arise. Make sure to acknowledge those feelings without judgment. Remember, it is a practice, and some days may be easier than others. It can sometimes feel a bit scary to allow yourself to become open in this way but it is essential for healing both oneself and our community.

Compassion is a powerful tool to better understand oneself and those around us. As our understanding grows, we have the power to meet in a neutral place and have meaningful discussions. We are more open to the ideas of others that may differ from our own. Only when we meet in this place can meaningful change and transformation begin.

Susan Johnston, L.Ac., works as an acupuncturist at Milwaukee Community Acupuncture, a local clinic dedicated to providing affordable and accessible acupuncture to those in the community and beyond. For more information about Milwaukee Community Acupuncture please visit

Disclaimer: the information provided in this column is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or care.

Bay View Run Series goes the distance for the community

June 30, 2017

By Sheila Julson

Wild Workouts & Wellness is sponsoring the Bay View Run Series, four benefit runs that take place between July and November.

Wild Workouts is a personal training and fitness business in Bay View formed by owner Amber Budahn in 2011.

The individual events are Run for the Parks, Dash to the Bash, The Great Pumpkin Chase, and Turkey Trot. Registration fees are donated to different Bay View charities, and the runs represent Budahn’s dual mission not only to help change the lives of her clients, but also to promote community health by supporting local organizations.

Originally, each of the four runs began as a discrete event until Budahn decided to combine them this year as a series.

“I figured that now that we’re doing all these runs, let’s just make it a series,” Budahn said. “These events can work together on a common good, which is supporting community organizations and promoting community fitness. The more runners we have at each event, the more donation dollars we can give. By having a series, each run supports and promotes the others.”

All are 5K run/walks. Participation fees for the four runs are about $20 each. There are no fees for the Turkey Trot except for a donation of nonperishable food, which is given to the Bay View Community Center’s food pantry. Runners and walkers are not required to secure sponsors.

Run for the Parks
takes place July 25 at 6:30pm at Humboldt Park. The run is in its eighth year and helps support The Park People with its efforts as citizen stewards of Milwaukee County Parks. Through a partnership with Bay View Neighborhood Association, some of the funds are used to make improvements in Humboldt Park. “At Run for the Parks, runners start at the band shell on a Chill on the Hill concert night, and there’s a nice little get-together after,” Budahn said.

Wild Workouts & Wellness helped with last year’s Run for the Parks and will be more involved this year by volunteering on the course with tasks such as directing runners.

The impetus for Dash to the Bash was born when Budahn, a longtime Bay View Bash participant, struck up conversations with Sue Loomis, one of the Bash organizers. They talked about ways to get people to the Bash earlier in the day and came up with the run. The first one was held last year.

This year’s Dash to the Bash takes place Sept. 16 at 10:30am. Runners take off near Sven’s on Kinnickinnic Avenue and wind through Humboldt Park. Proceeds go to the Bay View Community Fund (BVCF), which in turn gives funding to local organizations including Canine Cupids and Kompost Kids. Budahn said last year’s inaugural Dash to the Bash had about 100 participants and that $150 in proceeds were donated to BVCF.

Last year, Tom Held, a personal trainer at Wild Workouts & Wellness, coordinated with the BVNA to create The Great Pumpkin Chase, a run that benefits BVNA and that is part of its annual Pumpkin Pavilion event. Racers are encouraged to wear costumes, so creativity and panache win this run rather than speed and endurance. The Pumpkin Chase features a quarter-mile kids’ run around the lagoon.

“We’re going to build that up a little this year by having people in costumes around the course, with parents and other volunteers,” Held said.

The Pumpkin Chase premiered last year and drew about 30 participants, Held said. Costumes included a shark, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and even the Bay View fox. The event raised $135 for BVNA.

The Turkey Trot was the first run Budahn established. She started it 13 years ago, when she first began working as a personal trainer
— before she formed Wild Workouts & Wellness. “I just wanted to get people together on Thanksgiving morning for a light run, and we never stopped doing it,” Budahn said.

Bay View Community Center’s president and CEO Linda Nieft said the 2016 Turkey Trot generated 11 large boxes and 13 bags of nonperishable food for the pantry, equal to about $1,000 in value. She said that food donations typically increase around Thanksgiving, but the Turkey Trot donations are especially helpful to meet the needs of families using the food pantry at that time of the year. Nieft said the center’s teen leadership and emergency preparedness group, the Ready Kids has volunteered at Turkey Trot in the past and may do so again this year.

Giving Back

Wild Workouts & Wellness has grown to 370 clients since opening in 2011, Budahn said. She opened her second site in February 2016, a 3,600-square-foot-space at Delaware and Rusk avenues in the former Threadworks (and briefly, Bay View Area Redcats) building. Hintz grocery store occupied the space in an earlier era. The second location focuses on boot-camp-style workouts, while the location on Delaware just north of Oklahoma Avenue is dedicated to one-on-one and small group workouts.

The business has expanded its wellness offerings, including a nutrition program and a free weekly summer run on Wednesday evenings. As a newer mom — her son Frank turns 2 years old this month — Budahn plans to offer mom and baby workouts, for which she said she’s received many requests.

“Bay View is a special place. I live here and I work here, and it’s great to be an addition to it,” she said.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to the Bay View Compass.

Bay View keeps pace with Milwaukee’s flourishing mural trend

June 30, 2017

By Keith Schubert

Nearer the Moon, painted by Jenny Jo, is on the south wall of Café Lulu, 2265 S. Howell. —Photo Jennifer Kresse

It’s the year of the woman,” said Kinnickinnic Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) member Toni Spott, when explaining the reasoning behind choosing five female artists for its recent Street Canvas project.

“We were choosing the artists around the same time as the Women’s March on Washington and subsequent women’s marches all around the world, so it really just fell into place,” Spott said.

The Street Canvas project, part of the KK BID’s street enhancement effort, features five murals by five local artists. The BID aims to support local businesses and community groups within its district and to encourage productive developments and improvements along Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View.

The BID spent $52,000 on the mural project.

“I saw mural projects becoming a wonderful way of enhancing the streetscape, drawing attention and increasing traffic in the community,” said BID member Mary Ellen O’Donnell about her idea to launch Street Canvas. “Bay View and art are synonymous so this project really made sense for us.”

To help manage the project the BID hired Stacey Williams-Ng, founder of Wall Papered City LLC, as project manager.

Wall Papered City LLC is a consulting agency that specializes in sourcing artists for large-scale art projects. The agency connects business owners and community groups to a network of artists. The agency assists with all aspects of a project including logistics, promotion, and funding.

Last year when Williams-Ng visited Philadelphia, she was struck by the number of murals and wanted to see that in Milwaukee.

“They’re a low cost and high impact way to improve a community,” said Williams-Ng. “You’re making a destination out of nothing. At the end of a day it’s just a coat of paint, but in the hands of an imaginative and skillful person, it’s a destination. What used to be a blank wall — people now pull their car over to take a picture of it or take a selfie.”

The buildings selected for the murals were Lulu Café & Bar (2265 S. Howell Ave.), Mr. P’s Tires (2366 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), Shape Up Shoppe (2697 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.), D14 Brewery and Pub (2273 S. Howell Ave.), and Rusty Sprocket Antiques (3383-3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). The bid chose the sites based on visibility, accessibility, and the condition of the wall.

“The intent was not to interfere with the artist. We wanted to let them have as much freedom as possible,” said O’Donnell about the BID’s decision to not implement a specific theme or vision.

The mural guidelines were straightforward and bureaucratic. No advertising — and no text because the city considers text as signage, which requires permits. The BID also allowed no religious or political messages and no pornography.

Concerning its selection of artists, Williams-Ng said, “We wanted to use local artists, but how many local artists have mural experience? Very few. So, we chose artists who had potential, who were already skillful painters,” she explained.

The artists selected for the project were Nova Czarnecki from Milwaukee, Rozalia Hernandez-Singh from Oak Creek, and Jenny Jo, Dena Nord, and Jenny Anderson from Bay View.

“I was absolutely excited to get to do something like this in the neighborhood I live in,” said Dena Nord.

Dena Nord’s mural Flow is painted on Mr. P’s Tires, 236 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue. —Photo Jennifer Kresse

Dena Nord, whose mural Flow is painted on Mr. P’s Tire Shop, had worked extensively in the community through Artists Working in Education (AWE) and Bay View High School. This was the first time she took on a project of this scale solo.

Nord grew up in Chicago’s northwest suburbs and moved to Milwaukee 12 years ago to pursue a Graphic Art and Design degree at UW-Milwaukee.

“Growing up, my mom was really awesome about making sure that I was doing creative things. She got me things like a sewing machine, a keyboard, and art supplies,” Nord said.

From an early age she knew she wanted a career in art. “I think it was maybe fourth grade when I won this banner contest for the suburb I lived in. I got a plaque, a $500 gift card, and my art displayed all around my town. That was the first time I realized I could really do things with art.”

After college graduation, Nord was hired as a graphic artist. “When I am on the computer doing design, I am always thinking about color theory, structure, depth, all the things that make a composition good. Then I can take all of that to the studio,” she said.

Dena Ward —Photo Keith Schubert

When painting her mural on Mr. P’s Tires, she trusted her process. “I really like to focus on what is happening on the canvas and embracing and experimenting as I go,” Nord said.

Nord’s work is often associated with marine life, mitochondria, and amoebas, so with Mr. P’s proximity to the lake, she was eager to include those elements in the mural.

“I knew going into it that I had to use the odd structure of the building and location to my advantage. That was my main goal, looking at the structure first and figuring out how to use it as a support system for whatever I was going to paint,” said Nord.

“I knew there was already a super strong horizon line on the building above the windows and underneath the overhangs. I used that structural line as a base to be able to sync the whole bottom of the building as a watery base, and then be able to make the top of the building pop,” she added.

It took Nord a week to cover the entire building with nine gallons of primer that she applied with an industrial sprayer. She used spray paint to create her abstract organic patterns and shapes, which she incorporates in many of her paintings.

“There is so much art that has such serious overtones,” Nord said. “I’d rather give you something to get lost in and have it be a visual playground for your eyes, where you can find something new each time you look at it.”

Nova Czarnecki —Photo Keith Schubert

Nova Czarnecki’s Witness to the Wild is painted on the north wall of Rusty Sprocket Antiques. The mural features a surreal image of woman, who is Czarnecki’s daughter, surrounded by flowers, animals, and other aspects of nature.

Historically, Czarnecki said she has been a more technical painter, which she attributes to her education at Milwaukee Trade & Technical High School (now Lynde and Harry Bradley Technology and Trade School), where she was one of the first 40 female students admitted. The school was originally named Boys Technology and Trade School when it was established in 1904. “I went there because I wanted to learn commercial art,” said Czarnecki. “And there I was doing the trade for hours every single day.” She learned lettering, brush control, and other technicalities of painting.

After high school, she attended the Milwaukee School of Art (now Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design), where she was able to take all the technical training and apply it in a fine art setting.

Nova Czarnecki’s Witness to the Wild is painted on the north wall of Rusty Sprocket Antiques, 3381-3391 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. —Photo Jennifer Kresse

Czarnecki loves making large figurative paintings, so when she got the offer to create a mural she was excited to expand her scale.

When she proposed her original concept to the BID, she was dealing with the death of her son-in-law related to a domestic violence incident involving her daughter. However, as Czarnecki started to heal, she changed the tone of the mural.

“I wanted the piece to symbolize hope. Everybody has pain, and it is often overwhelming, so I wanted to move on from that and offer people a representation of hope and the beauty of this world,” she said.

Czarnecki intended her mural to illustrate that we are all connected.

It features the head and torso of a female figure. Fish, a snake, coral, and peony blossoms are painted on the torso and in the space surrounding the figure’s head. As the eye travels upward, the space above the figure features peonies and a tropical flower. The progression from ocean creatures to flower blossoms symbolizes how intertwined humans are with Mother Nature, Czarnecki explained.

Jenny Anderson —Photo Keith Schubert

“I want people to know how important it is that we not only take care of each other but that we take care of nature and our world. We are all connected, and if we don’t have our world, we don’t have ourselves,” she said.

Jenny Anderson’s mural, Fade into Blue, was selected for the south wall of the Shape Up Shoppe. Several years ago the building’s cream city brick was painted a glaring blue.

As a child living in Kewaskum, Anderson spent her time painting in her room or walking through the woods. “My mom was always mad at me when I was little because I was always spilling the paint water in my room and messing up the carpet,” she joked.

In high school, she had supportive art teachers who helped her pursue her interest in fine art, which led to attending the American Academy in Chicago.

“[American Academy] was a very strict painting environment. With 15-hour poses and not a lot of room for anything else, I got bored and ended up quitting school for a while. I traveled around, lived in Wales, and when I came home, I went to UWM to finish up my art degree.”

Anderson broke out of her shell there and started to paint expressively. “There was this big face I painted that showed me I could actually paint whatever I want. It was right then when I learned how to take the skills I got at the academy and use them in a more modern and expressive way,” Anderson said.

“[Fade into Blue] represents all the different people in Bay View. The eyes are always important to me in my work, and here the eyes are looking different directions, like how the streets are all angular around this area.”

Aside from the scale of the painting, and painting it freehand, Anderson said her greatest challenge was a limited palette.

“I usually use a lot of different colors and make my own colors when I  am painting with oils. So, this was hard using outdoor latex paint and being limited to just primaries and whites,” she said.

Anderson said outdoor murals readily present art to those who may not frequent galleries and museums. “It allows those people to have conversations about art,” she said, “and these murals serve as destination points for that.”

Jenny Jo —PHOTO Keith Schubert

Nearer the Moon, painted by Jenny Jo Kristan (known professionally as Jenny Jo), is painted on the south wall of Lulu Café & Bar. It features images of five women rendered in flat, monochromatic hues.

“I got into visual art around five years ago. I’ve always done poetry and playwriting, said Jenny Jo, who grew up in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

“When I lived in San Francisco I studied with (artist, poet, and writer) Diane di Prima for nearly 10 years,” she said. “But when I moved back to Wisconsin, the writing stuff was coming to closure for me, and I needed something to do with myself, so I started drawing again,” she added.

She wanted in on Bay View’s art scene. “I started doing prints and t-shirts and it just grew from there,” she said.

“The more I painted, the bigger I wanted to go. Which led to me doing my first mural on Sky High skate shop and to helping with the Black Cat Alley Project.”

She noted Nearer the Moon is the biggest solo project she has made so far.

“[In the mural] I wanted to show something that I’ve been seeing happening in the world and currently in this administration. It reflects what I’ve been seeing, which is women of all ages and nationalities coming together and lifting each other up,” she said. “It’s a piece for sisterhood and camaraderie that says we can accomplish a lot more together than we can divided.

“I think just color and beauty on the walls is fun. There will always be plenty of blank walls but having these murals makes it a fun place to live and creates a sort of positivity ripple in the community.”

Rozalia Hernandez-Singh’s Our Beauty in Strength is painted on the north wall of D14 Brewery and Pub. —Photo Jennifer Kresse

Opposite Jenny Jo’s mural on the north wall of D14 Brewery and Pub is Our Beauty in Strength by Rozalia Hernandez-Singh.

As a child, Hernandez-Singh was surrounded by art. Her dad, Reynaldo Hernandez, is a prominent Milwaukee muralist best known for his iconic Mural of Peace painted on the south wall of the Esperanza Unida International Building, 611 W. National Ave.

“My dad would always have artists around the house, so we always had musicians and artists in or around our house. I was really just surrounded by that culture growing up,” she said.

She also took a lot of inspiration from her grandmother, who was a dancer, writer, and art enthusiast. While her dad was harder on her and consistent about making certain she learned her brush strokes and other technical aspects, her grandmother was the one who exposed her to art and helped her learn to appreciate it.

When she was 13, she started helping her dad paint murals and was already thinking about pursuing a career in art. “I never wanted to do murals specifically as an adult, but I knew I wanted to be an artist.”

Rosalia Hernandez-Singh —Courtesy Hernandez-Singh

She made her first mural as a solo artist in 2005 and worked on others before and since.

For inspiration, Hernandez-Singh often looks back on her father’s work.

“All of my dad’s artwork was positive, promoting some sort of peace or historical aspect. I’ve always liked his message. I’m still drawn to art that has a message or some kind of story to it. I think that’s gone away a little bit recently and taken over by people who are just sort of doing murals to add some color, which is nice but I still think we need have some sort of message,” she said.

For the Bay View mural, she originally wanted to paint a superhero as an ode to her daughter’s recent obsession with the topic but abandoned it when she decided it was too tricky because of all the gender biases that still exist today.

“I was playing around with the idea of the tiger and the woman, and everyone I showed it to really liked it, so that’s how I decided on what to do. I also really wanted to play around with colors, which is something different from what I normally do, so it also gave me an opportunity to do that,” she explained.

“The tiger going through the body of the woman represents the strength and spirit of women. The women in my life have lived through some tough lives, but they are the strongest people I know, and I wanted that to show in this piece,” Hernandez-Singh said.

Historic Awakenings, a mural on the north wall of the Bay View Maytag Laundromat, 2510 S. Kinnickinnic Avenue, was completed in January. Depicting buildings, landmarks, and aspects of Bay View’s history, the mural was a joint project of the Bay View Historical Society and the KK BID.

Humboldt Park restroom upgrades and new cedar roof completed

June 30, 2017

By Sheila Julson

The pavilion, built in 1932 as a Works Progress Administration project, benefited from extensive improvements including a splendid new cedar shake roof and repaired and upgraded restrooms that are now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules. —Photo Jennifer Kresse

The newly completed repairs and upgrades at Humboldt Park Pavilion were made possible through a unique three-way private/public partnership between Milwaukee County Parks, Humboldt Park Friends (HPF), and St. Francis Brewery.

The pavilion, built in 1932 as a Works Progress Administration project, benefited from extensive improvements including a splendid new cedar shake roof and repaired and upgraded restrooms that are now compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules.

“The Humboldt Park Pavilion’s freshly remodeled restrooms and new cedar shake roof are making our park shine brightly again,” said Jason Haas, District 14 Milwaukee County Supervisor, who serves as chair of the Parks, Energy & Environment Committee. “Both of those improvements have occurred in large part (due) to four years of work by the all-volunteer group Humboldt Park Friends. They led the remodeling effort from start to finish and pushed the Parks Department to get the new and historically-consistent cedar shake roof.”


Efforts to find funding to pay for the pavilion’s long-needed restroom repairs and upgrades received a boost through a partnership with St. Francis Brewery, the park’s beer garden vendor, whose contract stipulated that a percentage of its beverage sales would be directed to a dedicated park maintenance fund.

The brewery was awarded a five-year contract to operate the beer garden in Humboldt Park in 2013 and it began operating in 2014.

Haas said that when the parks department was considering incorporating a beer garden in Humboldt Park, public meetings were held to survey residents’ sentiments. “There was a fair amount of public demand that the brewery put money back in the park,” he said.

In response, Haas proposed that the county’s contract with the brewery include a provision where, beginning in 2015, the brewery would pay a surcharge. Ten percent of its beverage sales would be paid into a dedicated maintenance fund for Humboldt Park.

The county didn’t require the surcharge the first year of the beer garden’s operation because of uncertainty about the degree of its success.

The first year was a success, Haas said, so the brewery began contributing to the maintenance fund in 2015.

Haas noted that Humboldt Park is the only county park whose beer garden contributes to a dedicated maintenance fund.

Efforts to find funding to pay for Humboldt Park Pavilion’s long-needed restroom repairs and upgrades received a boost through a partnership with St. Francis Brewery, the park’s beer garden vendor, whose contract stipulated that a percentage of its beverage sales would be directed to a dedicated park maintenance fund. —Photo Jennifer Kresse

All park improvements are eligible for matching grants through the Parks Amenities Matching Fund, a program that Haas restored to the 2017 county budget. In a press release about the PAMF, he said it provides a dollar-for-dollar match of county money for private funds donated for county park repairs.

Tim Richter, vice president and board member of Humboldt Park Friends, said when the beer garden was originally proposed, his group pushed hard to ensure a percentage of beer garden sales would be placed in a maintenance fund that would help pay for pavilion upgrades and improvements. “That’s part of the lease agreement,” Richter said. “We look at it as a three-way partnership between HPF, the County Parks Department, and St. Francis Brewery.”

He said the total project cost was $55,958 and funded as follows: Maintenance Fund: $22,400; St. Francis Brewery: an additional $1,000; Humboldt Park Friends $5,554; Amenities Matching Grant: $27,004.

“A lot of people seem to think St. Francis Brewery is profiting well and not giving back to the park, but HPF tries to help people understand what is happening on the back end,” Richter said. “St. Francis (also) gives back beyond just the maintenance fund.”

In a special report published by the Compass in December 2014, Haas said, “Although St. Francis Brewery had committed to making $4,500 in improvements to the pavilion, they ultimately spent roughly $50,000 on labor and construction for repairs and improvements to the bathrooms and concession area from 2014 to 2016.”

In addition to improvements to the concession stand and former ice skater warming room, the brewery paid for a major repair in the men’s restroom in 2015. “The piping from the urinals had corroded and was leaking urine. The leak filled the restroom with a foul, pungent stench that was eliminated only after repairs were made,” Haas said.

Additionally, Milwaukee County performed approximately $50,000 worth of critical underground cleanup and sewer infrastructure repairs to the pavilion in 2015. Years of leaking floor pipes under the men’s bathroom urinals created hazardous conditions in a below-ground crawl space.

Milwaukee County Parks Planning and Development chief Jill Organ said a contract for the $20,891 concrete and tile project was bid out to subcontractors. The remainder of the tab, the cost of labor and materials to install new urinals, was paid by the Parks Department, whose staff plumbers performed the work.

Milwaukee County Parks employs 25 trades-people (carpenters, electricians, heating techs, plumbers, and iron workers) who maintain 400 buildings in 158 parks. “We have a small budget, but we prioritize public safety and health as our main priority for maintenance and repairs,” Organ said. “We take care of all the stuff people usually don’t see. We sometimes don’t have the money to take care of all the ‘pretty’ stuff.”

After the underground work at Humboldt Park pavilion was complete, the aboveground remodeling of the restrooms began. Richter said that before the hazardous underground conditions were rectified, it had been difficult to hire a plumbing contractor for the remodeling work.

Because there were some toilets and sinks that were original to the 1932 construction, extensive upgrades were required.

Updates included new tile floors, faucets, mirrors, ADA compliant sinks, bathroom stalls, toilets, floor drains, widened doorways, and baby changing stations in both men’s and women’s rooms. Repairs were also made to windows and to the pavilion’s historic Lannon-stone walls.

JR Plumbing, New Berlin, Wis. performed the plumbing work. Materna’s Maintenance, a general contractor from Kewaskum, Wis., also worked on the restroom project. “It was a challenge to find contractors willing to take this project on,” Richter said. “When you’re dealing with a building that old, there can be plenty of surprises.”

The aboveground restroom remodel began April 10 and was completed April 28.

Cedar Shake Roof

The replacement cedar shake roof cost $330,000, Organ said, and was installed by LeFever Roofing, of Hartland, Wis. LeFever’s website states it specializes in cedar shakes and cedar conversions.

The project was paid with county bond sales, according to Haas.

Organ said that as of June 22, LeFever’s contract had not been closed and wouldn’t be until all punch list items — small finishing type work that the contractor still needs to perform — were complete.

“Real problems existed under the decaying, moss-covered shingles,” Haas said. “LeFever Roofing, repaired leaks that were not evident to the public. The company’s extensive experience with cedar shake roofing is shown through the great job they did with this roof. The project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.”

In addition to the new roof, repairs were required for the soffit, eaves, and fascia.

Organ praised LeFever’s professionalism and efficiency.

“We’re happy to have this project done, and now we’re working on a long-term restoration plan for the lagoon,” Richter said.

Fundraising for upcoming HPF projects includes a Bocce Benefit fundraiser Saturday, Aug. 12.

Governor Walker Announces 35 Municipalities to Receive a Total of $13.8 Million to Remove Lead Service Lines

June 28, 2017

 Governor Scott Walker announced today that 35 municipalities have now completed financial assistance agreements with the state that will allow those communities to assist homeowners, schools, and day cares in providing safe drinking water by replacing old lead service lines.

These aging lead service lines extend from the main street pipes owned by local utilities onto private property and into homes, schools, and day care centers. The lines are the responsibility of the property owner who typically would have to pay for full lead service line removal. With this fiscal year’s funding package totaling $13.8 million, communities can help property owners fully replace those lines to provide safe drinking water for families and children.

The Lead Service Line Replacement Funding program reflects this administration’s commitment to safe drinking water and addresses the financial barriers facing communities where lead service lines continue to deliver drinking water to customers.

“Safe drinking water is critical to the health and well-being of everyone in Wisconsin, and this program is working to help address community needs,” Governor Walker said. “We applaud the work being done in communities across our state to identify old lead service lines and remove them.”

The DNR conceived the funding program last year following a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow the state greater flexibility in allocating loan funds for water infrastructure projects.  Under the program, municipalities determine how to distribute the funds. Funding for LSL replacement on private property is in the form of Principal Forgiveness (PF), which means no debt is incurred on behalf of the municipality for these funds.

“The lead service line replacement program represents one of the many ways DNR partners with communities to manage our water resources and protect public health,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “These cooperative efforts involving the state, local governments, and skilled private contractors serve as a model for what we can accomplish together.”

The 35 municipalities represent all parts of the state with Milwaukee receiving the largest award of $2.6 million. Another $13 million in lead service line replacement funding will be available in FY18 and 41 communities have indicated they will be filing applications.

Lead Service Line Replacement

DPW’s Streetcar construction progress update

June 27, 2017

Milwaukee Streetcar Construction Progress:  West St. Paul Avenue to Open in Both Directions Temporarily 

Track construction continues with limited access on N. Broadway, and roadway preparation/lane closures on N. Jackson St. 

City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works (DPW) officials announce that work on West St. Paul Avenue as part of the Milwaukee Streetcar project will go on hiatus until Fall 2017. All lanes of traffic will be temporarily reopened during Summerfest to accommodate festival traffic, City officials said.

Streetcar construction, which began in early spring on W. St. Paul, continues to progress on schedule with construction crews laying track on additional area streets in various phases.

“We’ve intentionally arranged our project construction schedule to keep as many lanes open as possible in the downtown area during the festival season, with no Third Ward track construction planned until the fall,” Department of Public Works Commissioner Ghassan Korban said.

“We have temporarily halted track work on W. St. Paul Ave. and reopened all lanes in both directions to traffic during Summerfest,” Korban said. “Motorists should feel free to drive in the lanes with the new streetcar tracks – our system is designed for cars and streetcars to share traffic lanes.”

Other construction activities along the route include:

? Track construction with lane closures is underway on N. Broadway between E. Clybourn and E. Kilbourn avenues. Traffic is reduced to a single southbound vehicle lane, and some intersections may be closed. Pedestrian access will be maintained on N. Broadway. Northbound motorists should use other nearby roads such as N. Milwaukee, N. Jefferson or N. Water streets.

? Crews have also begun track work on N. Jackson Street between E. Kilbourn and E. Ogden avenues, which is currently reduced to a single lane northbound.

? Some utility work is underway on E. Ogden Ave. and N. Milwaukee St., but a lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained.

“Motorists driving through the city should be aware that N. Broadway and N. Jackson currently have the most construction activity underway right now, and should plan their travels accordingly,” Korban said.

The construction team has been working closely with Summerfest to coordinate access to and from the festival through work zones. Festival-goers should PLAN a little extra travel time and visit the Summerfest website in advance for parking information, suggested travel routes, and public transit options:

Source: City of Milwaukee Dept. Public Works press release

2017 South Shore Farmers Market Music & Entertainment Schedule

June 1, 2017

The South Shore Farmers Market is held in South Shore Park in Bay View. Unless otherwise noted, the music performances begin at 10am. The market runs from 8am to noon.

June 17: Nickel & Rose

June 24: The Squeezettes

July 1: Don Linke Trialogue

July 8: Geoff Marsh; fire circus show starting at 11:15

July 15: No market – South Shore Frolics

July 22: Carley Baer

July 29: 9am – Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance; 10:15am – Bluegrass All Stars

Aug. 5: Fox & Branch

2017 Chill on the Hill Schedule

June 1, 2017

13th Season of Bay View Neighborhood Association Chill on the Hill

The Bay View Neighborhood Association presents its 13th season of Chill on the Hill. In conjunction with Milwaukee County Parks, the Bay View Neighborhood Association welcomes over twenty bands in a 12-week concert series. Every Tuesday night at 6pm, catch original music, local food vendors, and community partners. Returning to the hill again this year, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will perform on June 20.

Chill on the Hill takes place at the band shell in Humboldt Park. The opening act begins at 6pm and followed by the headliner at 6:30pm.

2017 Chill on the Hill Schedule

June 6 D’Amato with Bay View High School and Parkside Drum Lines

June 13 Driveway Thriftdwellers, Derek Pritzl and the Gamble, with Derek Sallmann

June 20 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

June 27 American Legion Band with Reagan High School Jazz Experience

& Riverside High School Jazz Combo

July 4 No Concert – Independence Day Celebrations

July 11 Abby Jeanne, Fainting Room with Bryn Lorraine Johnson

July 18 Charles Walker Band with Sam Guyton

July 25 Devil Met Contention, Cow Ponies with Bruce Dean

Aug. 1 Colors of the Alphabet, MYSO Jazz Ensemble with Slimabean

Aug. 8 Max & The Invaders,The Revomatics with HI/Jack

Aug. 15 Piles, Dramatic Lovers with Mathew Haeffel

Aug. 22 Misha Siegfried and His Band, Don Linke with
Olivia Gonzales Quartet

Aug. 29 De La Buena with Sara and Kenny

2017 Chill on the Hill and South Shore Farmers Market lineups sizzle

June 1, 2017

By Sheila Julson

The South Shore Farmers Market in South Shore Park and Chill on the Hill in Humboldt Park — two mainstays of Bay View’s summer scene — again present lineups offering something for everyone.

Early birds shopping at the South Shore Farmers Market on Saturday mornings can grab a cup of coffee and enjoy jazz, polka, kids’ acts, Americana, and more. Those looking to unwind after work with a glass of wine under summer-evening skies can take in Milwaukee Public Schools’ talented musical ensembles, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, indie rock, jazz, folk, ska/reggae, and Afro-Cuban sounds. So grab your blankets and lawn chairs, sit back, and enjoy the sounds of summer in Bay View!

Chill on the Hill

This year marks the 13th season for the popular Chill on the Hill concert series, sponsored by the Bay View Neighborhood Association. Russ Grabczyk and Ted Jorin, members of its talent committee, selected the lineup, with input from fellow BVNA members Christa Marlowe and Patty Pritchard Thompson.

“We pushed very hard to make sure every band has all original music and is local to Milwaukee area,” Thompson said. “Extra bonus points if they have a strong Bay View connection.”

The BVNA team also strove to offer a wide variety of styles on the Chill stage. The 2017 season leads with the party band D’Amato. The following weeks bring Americana, classical (2017 marks the third season Chill welcomes the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), and the American Legion Band — a long time favorite at Humboldt Park. Accomplished jazz guitarist Don Linke will appear Aug. 22.

“I’m thrilled we have the Charles Walker Band, a super funk dance music act. I think the night that will be the most different will be Dramatic Lovers and Piles. They may be the heaviest rock band we’ve had on stage for the last couple of years. It’s going to be fun, and their music is great, but it doesn’t sound like anyone else we have booked. That’s a good thing, right?” Pritchard Thompson said.

The season rounds out with Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz band De La Buena, a band that Thompson said played at Chill about 10 years ago and that BVNA is happy to welcome back.

South Shore Farmers Market

As the South Shore Farmers Market evolved into one of the Milwaukee area’s premier farmers markets, the eclectic musical acts it has featured have become just as much of a draw as the bountiful offerings of its food and produce vendors.

Mark Budnik has been coordinating the music stage since the market’s beginnings. He tries to mix up the lineup every year in order to offer a broad range of talent for all musical tastes.

This season, the market features returning favorites like The Squeezettes and the popular children’s act, Geoff Marsh. The June 17 market-season opener showcases Nickel & Rose, a neo-folk duo that blends soul, blues, jazz, country, and African styles. “We’re looking forward to that,” Budnik said, noting that the duo recently finished touring Europe.

Also new to the market this year are the Bluegrass All Stars, a group of veteran musicians incorporating the banjo, fiddle, and mandolin in their sound. They perform July 29.

The Philomusica String Quartet, whose members are part of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, will appear Sept. 2, making up a rained-out date from the 2016 season. “They’re well-known throughout the city,” Budnik said. “We try to get musicians who are full-time professionals, as well as musicians who just play on the side.”

Budnik, along with Jim Griffiths, who records the South Shore Farmers Market musicians, have released a compilation CD of music made at the market.

“I was an active musician when I was younger, and this keeps me connected with the music scene,” Budnik said. “It’s something that I like to do and people at the market really enjoy it.”

2017 Chill on the Hill Schedule

June 6 D’Amato with Bay View High School and Parkside Drum Lines

June 13 Driveway Thriftdwellers, Derek Pritzl and the Gamble, with Derek Sallmann

June 20 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

June 27 American Legion Band with Reagan High School Jazz Experience

& Riverside High School Jazz Combo

July 4 No Concert – Independence Day Celebrations

July 11 Abby Jeanne, Fainting Room with Bryn Lorraine Johnson

July 18 Charles Walker Band with Sam Guyton

July 25 Devil Met Contention, Cow Ponies with Bruce Dean

Aug. 1 Colors of the Alphabet, MYSO Jazz Ensemble with Slimabean

Aug. 8 Max & The Invaders,The Revomatics with HI/Jack

Aug. 15 Piles, Dramatic Lovers with Mathew Haeffel

Aug. 22 Misha Siegfried and His Band, Don Linke with
Olivia Gonzales Quartet

Aug. 29 De La Buena with Sara and Kenny

2017 South Shore Farmers Market Schedule:

June 17: Nickel & Rose

June 24: The Squeezettes

July 1: Don Linke Trialogue

July 8: Geoff Marsh; fire circus show starting at 11:15

July 15: No market – South Shore Frolics

July 22: Carley Baer

July 29: 9am – Tamarind Tribal Belly Dance; 10:15am – Bluegrass All Stars

Aug. 5: Fox & Branch


Bay View Art in the Park June 10

June 1, 2017

The popular Bay View Art in the Park art and craft market will be held Saturday, June 10 from 11am to 4pm in Humboldt Park next to the band shell. More than 40 local artists will participate.

Blick Art Materials will host a public art workshop. Children’s book author Janet Halfmann will read to children at 1pm. Musician Professor Pinkerton will perform from noon to 2pm.

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