Tag Archives: Wauwatosa

Tosafest 2016 

Wauwatosa’s community celebration Tosafest features three stages of music, Artists Corner, Cupcake and Chili Challenge, a 5K run and more. Kids’ activities include walk-on-water balls, bouncy boxing ring and a rock-climbing wall. Proceeds from TosaFest support community projects in the areas of education, safety and neighborhood improvement.

6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 9; and 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at Wauwatosa Village Area, 7615 W. State St., Wauwatosa; $2 or two non-perishable foods; tosafest.org

‘Russian Masters’

Frankly Music’s already tried out an all-French program this year, but now it’s time to head east. This all-Russian program, in which violinist Frank Almond will be joined by pianist William Wolfram and cellist David Requiro, features an early work of Rachmaninov, a haunting Prokoviev sonata and a powerful trio by Shostakovich.

At Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave., Wauwatosa. Tickets range from $10 to $35 and can be purchased at franklymusic.org.

7 p.m. Jan. 18


After blistering criticism, Wisconsin’s GOP lawmakers backtrack on effort to gut open records law

Reacting to an avalanche of outrage from conservatives and progressives alike, Gov. Scott Walker and his GOP legislative leaders have had a sudden change of heart and agreed to remove from the proposed state budget a measure that would have all but eliminated the state’s open records laws.

The law would have made secret from the public everything created by state and local government officials, including drafts of legislation and communications with staff.

“Gov. Walker and his office are trying to muzzle all the watchdogs in this state,” said Brendan Fischer, general counsel for the Center for Media and Democracy, in response to the proposal, which was tucked into the budget by Republican leaders without prior notice, much less debate. Republicans have refused to identify who’s behind the effort.

Even Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel blasted his colleagues over the attack on open records. Schimel said “transparency is the cornerstone of democracy and the provisions in the budget bill limiting access to public records move Wisconsin in the wrong direction.”

Schimel has gone in the opposite direction, helping to shore up government transparency by launching the Office of Open Government in June, which is designed to makde government records more easily accessible to the public.

All states have some form of open records laws, although they vary in strength and enforcement mechanisms.

Wisconsin’s open records law has become a thorn in the side of Walker, who’s announcing a bid for the Republican presidential nomination on July 13. Some of his critics have speculated that he wants to shield his record from the eyes of reporters and opposition researchers as his presidential campaign gets underway.

For instance, among the issues that have dogged Walker recently is the failure of a job creation agency he created and chaired. Using the state’s open records law, the Wisconsin State Journal discovered that the agency — the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation — made a loan to one of Walker’s top donors.

That report led other media organizations, including The Associated Press, to look into the matter, and the agency also came under scrutiny from the Legislature.

Republicans’ attempt to cripple the open records law comes fast on the heels of their attempt last month to get rid of the Legislative Audit Bureau, a bipartisan agency that has provided citizens and lawmakers alike with honest, reliable investigations of waste, fraud, abuse, inefficiencies and cronyism in state government since 1966.

After bipartisan outrage, Republicans also dropped that proposal from the budget.

Walker told reporters before an Independence Day parade in of Wauwatosa yesterday morning that he planned to discuss the open records issue with legislative leaders after the weekend, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

“My hope is, that after talking with them on Monday, we get to the point where it’s either out completely or there’s significant changes to it,” he said.

But they didn’t wait until Monday. Later that same day, Walker suddenly shifted course and announced the decision to drop the open records proposal in a joint statement with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and the co-chairs of the joint budget committee.

“After substantive discussion over the last day, we have agreed that the provisions relating to any changes in the state’s open records law will be removed from the budget in its entirety,” the statement said. “… The intended policy goal of these changes was to provide a reasonable solution to protect constituents’ privacy and to encourage a deliberative process between elected officials and their staff in developing policy. It was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way.”

Walker didn’t specifically say in Wauwatosa whether he and his office were involved in crafting the proposed changes, whether he objected to them in advance, or specifically say who proposed the overhaul. The joint statement didn’t address those points either.

’80: Eight Decades of Song’

In 1934, a group of former Riverside High School a cappella singers got together as a brand-new community chorus to perform a concert for Milwaukee. It’s unlikely they thought the group would still exist eight decades later as the Milwaukee Choristers. They’ll perform an 80th anniversary concert to celebrate their longevity, featuring such favorite pieces as John Rutter’s Gloria, selections from Les Miserables, and works by Mozart, Handel and more. Retired choristers and members of Riverside’s current high school choirs will attend.

At Wisconsin Lutheran College’s Schwan Hall, 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave., Wauwatosa. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and $5 for students. Go to milwaukeechoristers.org.

7:30 p.m. on Fri., April 25, and Sat., April 26

Elena’s House provides care, community for people living with HIV/AIDS

For the past 12 years, an unassuming ranch house in Wauwatosa has provided physical healing, spiritual comfort and a community of support for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Elena’s House  began in March 2001 after Raphael House, located next door, closed. The latter was run by the Roman Catholic order of St. Camillus, which shuttered the house, leaving the area bereft of a faith-based living facility for people dealing with HIV/AIDS.

Mary Ellen Huwiler, who was a volunteer at Raphael House, had witnessed its healing power and was determined to continue its mission. 

“After the closing of the Raphael House, Milwaukee no longer had a faith-based home for people living with HIV/AIDS,” she says. “Recognizing the need in the community, in August 2000, I along with a team of individuals, including a caregiver, social worker and minister who were associated with the St. Camillus AIDS Ministry, started CommonGround Ministry.”

Elena House is a project of that ministry. Funded through private individuals, foundations and residents, who pay 30 percent of their income – if they have one – the agency also has been a recipient of Milwaukee’s annual AIDS Walk since 2004. This year’s walk takes place Oct. 5 along the lakefront at the Summerfest Grounds.

Elena’s House’s primary fundraiser is “Refashion for Life,” presented by Callen Construction. The sixth annual event will be held Sept. 11, presenting the latest fashions in home remodeling as well as women’s clothing. Last year’s Refashion for Life drew about 250 supporters and raised $20,000. 

Bill Keeton, vice president of government and public relations for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, which organizes AIDS Walk, says Elena’s House demonstrates the vital role that fighting isolation plays in achieving successful health outcomes.

“Isolation is a barrier to successful health care outcomes and strips away the dignity of people living with HIV,” Keeton says. “Elena’s House focuses on housing a small group of HIV-positive individuals to become an extended family to them and provide them with a supportive community.”

Each year, Elena’s House serves as many as eight full-time residents. An average of 25 additional individuals participate in programs at the house, such as weekly support groups, joining residents for a meal, or staying at the house on a short-term basis as a respite from their current living situation. 

Since opening, Elena’s House has been home to 66 individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Most of have moved back to independent living in the community, and 12 have died.

“I left Elena’s House renewed in mind, body and spirit,” says a former resident who asked to be identified as “Tim.” 

“Elena’s House is tension-free and is set in front of a wooded area,” he continues. “We plant many flowers. It has been my good fortune to have stayed in a most lovely place. I left refreshed and rejuvenated.  It is a place with a charm of its own description.

“The level of warmth, caring, dignity and respect is second only to the air of peace, love and joy, Wellness happens at Elena’s House.”

Huwiler was a children’s wear designer at Eagle Knitting Mills when HIV/AIDS entered her personal world: Her brother-in-law Stephen Huwiler discovered he had HIV in the mid-1980s, when a diagnosis was a virtual death sentence.

In 1993, Milwaukee experienced the largest waterborne disease outbreak in U.S. history when Cryptosporidium contaminated a portion of the city’s drinking water, sickening 403,000 residents. At least 104 people died, mostly the elderly and people whose immune systems were compromised. One of them was Stephen Huwiler.

“He became too sick to live alone,” Huwiler remembers. “He moved in with our family. Stephen was very scared when he was dying, and he kept saying, ‘Don’t put me in a nursing home.’ A lot of his friends that were HIV-positive had the same feeling. Back in those days, they were treated like lepers – they were not treated with compassion and respect.”

Huwiler left her career in fashion design after 23 years and cared for Stephen until he died in the summer of 1994.

“After Stephen’s death, I no longer had a desire to work in the fashion industry. I wanted to work and care for people living with HIV/AIDS,” she says.

Huwiler became a volunteer with the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and the St. Camillus AIDS Ministry, where she eventually took a job coordinating volunteers and special events and working with the Raphael House residents.

Elena’s House was named for a resident of Raphael House.

“Elena Kuenzi was a beloved member of the Milwaukee community,” Keeton says. “Incredibly, all in one day, she was diagnosed both with lymphoma and AIDS. Her care and concern for others left a lasting impression on her friends who made her the namesake of this home.”

A Potawatomi Native American, Kuenzi drew on her spirituality for strength, which is one of the underpinnings of Elena’s House’s approach to care. 

“She was diagnosed with AIDS and a brain lymphoma on the same day and given six months to live,” Huwiler says. “But she lived two and a half additional years.”

On the calendar

The sixth annual “Refashion for Life,” the major fundraiser for Elena’s House, takes place on Sept. 11 at Callen Construction, S63 W13131 Janesville Road, Muskego. The event presents the latest in home remodeling ideas, as well as a preview of the fall fashion season from area boutiques, including Lela, Goldies’ Boutique Larrieux, ModE and Urban Laundry. The event includes live music, food from Saz’s Catering, a fashion show and an auction. Register online athttp://www.refashionforlife.com/tickets.html.institutions.

NARI’s home tour is a great way to explore design ideas for spring remodeling projects

If you’re considering a spring home remodeling project, the Milwaukee/NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes offers a great venue for exploring ideas, says group spokesman Dave Amoroso.

Thirteen projects were selected for this year’s tour, which features an entire home makeover as well as a variety of bathroom and kitchen re-dos. Visitors can get a sense of new trends in flooring, cabinetry and appliances as well as the chance to compare what different contractors are able to accomplish on varying budgets, Amoroso says.

“Consumers get an opportunity to see contractors’ work up close,” he explains. Many participating contractors list the paint colors, flooring, carpeting, appliances and other items and finishes they’ve used in the projects, so visitors can take away not just general ideas, but also specifics, he adds.

The homes included in this year’s tour are all in suburban areas, particularly Wauwatosa, which is close to the city of Milwaukee and has a quaint, European-style village at its center. Most of the remodeled homes are 25-40 years old, and new residents wanted to update the houses to reflect their personalities and lifestyles, Amoroso explains.

Patrons who visit at least six of the project locations will be eligible to register to win a house full of faucets from the Kohler Co., worth a total of more than $1,000. 

To participate in the tour, simply show up at any of the projects, pay the entrance fee there and gain access to the entire tour.

The contractors and projects featured include:

  • Allen Kitchen & Bath: Kitchen and powder room remodel, 2012 Forest St., Wauwatosa
  • Bartelt. The Remodeling Source: First-floor remodel, N63 W29790 Woodfield Court, Hartland
  • Callen Construction: Kitchen remodel, 13120 Wrayburn Road, Elm Grove
  • Design Group Three: Kitchen remodel, 12865 W. Greenbriar Lane, New Berlin
  • Dimension Design: Master bath remodel,18970 Brookridge Drive, Brookfield
  • S.J. Janis Company: Kitchen remodel, 2139 N. 81st St., Wauwatosa
  • Joseph Douglas Homes and Remodeling: Whole house remodel, 2485 Lionel Court, Brookfield
  • Kowalske Kitchen & Bath: Kitchen remodel, 1248 Highpoint Lane, Waukesha
  • Owner-assisted remodeling: Kitchen remodel, 2445 N. 64th St., Wauwatosa
  • Pekel Construction & Remodeling: Family room and mudroom entry with a seasonal open-air portico, 7907 Mary Ellen Place, Wauwatosa
  • Refined Renovations: Kitchen and bathroom remodel, 20835 Saxon Court, Brookfield
  • Wade Design & Construction: Master bath and kitchen remodel, 4110 W. Manor Circle, Mequon
  • Jim Wirtz’s Woodworks: Kitchen remodel, 1822 N. 72nd St., Wauwatosa

On view

The 14th annual Milwaukee/NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes takes place 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on May 18–19. Admission is $4 in advance, and $7 at the door of the projects. Bring two, non-perishable food items to the door of the first project you visit and receive a $2 discount. The food will be donated to the Salvation Army of Milwaukee County. Advance tickets are on sale through May 17 at the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council office, 11815 W. Dearbourn Ave., Wauwatosa. For more, call 414-771-4071 or visit www.milwaukeenari.org. 

Wauwatosa holding eco-fair

Wauwatosa’s third annual VillageGreen Street Fair takes place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on June 2 on Harwood and Underwood Streets in the historic village.

The fair “raises awareness of eco-friendly products and services and provides fun green activities,” including an appearance by gardening expert Melinda Myers, a silent auction of hand-painted rain barrels, arts and crafts, an eco-friendly food court, yoga classes, a farmers’ market, a drum circle and musical entertainment.

The music lineup includes Irish and folk tunes from Evan & Tom Leahy Band, classic rock from The Bystanders, rhythm and blues from Blues Kopf and award-winning environmental music from The Chickadees.

The farmers’ market hours will be from 8 a.m. to noon.

For more, go to www.villagegreenstreetfair.com.

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Teens harass and threaten gay man on public bus

According to www.wauwatsoanow.com, a gay man was harassed and threatened while riding a MCTS bus on Sept. 13. The crime was comitted by two teenaged boys (ages 16 and 17) who verbally assaulted the man using homophobic language and threw candy at him. The bus pulled over at 104th Street and North Avenue where the driver told the boys told to get off after the man asked for help.

The man was wearing a work ID, and the boys told him they would show up at his work to beat him up. Later, they went to his work. They were arrested at Mayfair Mall.

The boys were arrested for disorderly conduct. The older boy was also arrested for trespassing (he had previously been banned from the mall), for giving false information to an officer. He also had  a warrant for running away from a group home.

See the original story here: http://www.wauwatosanow.com/news/103460559.html