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STUNNING: Pt 2, Double, Double Toil and Trouble; $13mil to make boilers chill & bubble?

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools

I could have titled this STUNNING: Pt 2, Putting $26 mil for HVAC/mechanicals into perspective, but that would not have been as much fun. You may wish to read part 1 first.

I only recently realized that the dollar amount devoted to HVAC/mechanical upgrades for Elmbrook's $62.2 million referendum is an even greater percentage than the 25% ($15.8 mil) for the new athletic facilities. HVAC/mech. amounts to 41% of total dollars.

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Shame on you, Schellinger: illegally placed signs

City of Brookfield, Elections, Truth


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Sutton, Owen, Balzer, Lowerr +YES to $62.2mil

City of Brookfield, Elections, Elmbrook

I am very pleased that Dan Sutton and Ron Balzer will be returning to the council, but extremely sorry that Terry Halmstad will not be joining them. Thank you, Terry for making the effort to make a difference.

Renee' Lowerr will join Brookfield's Common Council though, and that is a good thing too. She won by 105 votes:  Lowerr, 797  Schellinger, 692. That one was closer than I thought.

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Reflecting on the referendum She and others said Elmbrook failed to properly maintain the schools - a point Gibson said he has taken to heart for the future.

ironic for a shrinking school population that we needed a referendum of this magnitude.

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Bone of Their Bone - Flesh of Their Flesh

I thought that California politics had lost its ability to surprise me.  I was wrong.

Three weeks ago the State Supreme Court of California ruled that "parents do not have a Constitutionial right to home school their children", and if this already challenged ruling stands, parents in the Golden State won't be able to unless first receiving a certification from the State.

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Original One-Act Festival

Over the next two weekends, you'll have a chance to enjoy the 23rd Annual Original One-Act Festival" staged by the Brookfield Players and Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa.  It all takes place at our beautiful Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts (Brookfield).

 It's a must-see event which feature's Wisconsin's most talented playwrights, award-winning directors and phenomonal casts.  The five one-act plays are:

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Back in Wisconsin

The family and I recently returned from a vacation in California, and I decided to take a short blogging break during the frenzied days before the local referendum/elections.  I was particularly interested in the results of the municipal judge race, where it appears that my law school classmate, Jeff Warchol, may well be on his way to a judgeship.  The recount, in case you haven't heard, is scheduled for Tuesday.

I'm currently still catching up on my laundry and other household tasks, while mulling over a few new blog ideas, including a restaurant review of my experience at Cafe Manna, the new vegetarian restaurant in the Towne Centre.

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Winetasting and Willy Wonka

I came across an article recently that said that people who drink wine occasionally may have a lower risk of developing dementia, which is a good enough reason for any SJV parishioner to get over to the SJV Winetasting Event on April 19th, SJV Cafeteria, 6:30 - 9:30 pm.  Not only will you reduce your risk of future memory loss, you will also contribute to the school's computer technology, the proceeds earmarked for new computer equipment.  Advance tickets only.  Ticket orders being taken till April 11th. In addition to the winetasting event itself, there are opportunities to enter the winetasting raffle or purchase hand painted or beaded wine glasses (see below).  Check out more of the details at SJV Winetasting Event

Handpainted wineglasses by Cami Adel and Amy DiPiazza 

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A Jewel in Brookfield

Brookfield has a few hidden delights right in its own backyard.  One is the "Nature Center" just west of Brookfield East High School's soccer field.  The Nature Center includes 17 acres of land and two ponds.  The school district maintains trails around the ponds, through the mesic prairie, open dry prairie and woodlands with a wooden bridge across a marsh. Volunteers from the Elmbrook Garden Club have planted and maintained plantings of native plants around the visitor center/classroom for over twenty years.

Why would a local garden club get involved in this project?  Well, the 35-member group supports community service projects and outreach programs for youth. As an affiliate of the National Garden Clubs, Inc., it aids in the protection and conservation of natural resources, promotes civic beautification and encourages the improvement of roadsides and parks.  Then again it may be the children's delight when they visit.

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Penny the Pig is coming to SJV

Thanks to a grant from Northwestern Mutual, SJV has received a litter of 4-slotted piggy banks to help educated students about money.  Every child that attends a short class about Penny, with a parent, will get their own Penny the Pig.  Penny has four slots for deposit, save, spend, donate, and invest and offers a template for parents to begin talking to their children about money and finances. 

Classes will be offered Tuesday, April 22nd at 6:15 pm in the Lower Church Hall and Wednesday, April 30th at 6:15 pm in the Church Hall.

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A little bit of green


As you speed down Bluemound Road, you may notice a large white barn and small two story home on a patch of green.  You'll find this gem on the north side of the road just east of Janacek Road (about 192nd Street).  If you are more familiar with Best Buy and Menards, Eble Park is just across the street.

This 40 acre patch of green is courtesy of Florence Eble.  At one time, her family farm extended across Bluemound Road, and a barn was on the south side of the road.  Eble donated her forty acres to Waukesha County as a permanent green space.

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One Year

One year ago today the Virginia Tech. Massacre unfolded as a lone psychopath wrote his name into history with the blood of his victims.   

I wrote a three-part series on the horrific event, which even now has all but receeded from our collective consciousness.  The student-victims deserve to be remembered, as well as the lessons this event holds for us as a society.  Below is the link to the first part of that series, which I entitled A Bed of Straw.

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Eating Green at Cafe Manna


About two weeks ago, a few of the "moms" from my daughter's class and I had lunch at Cafe Manna, the vegetarian restaurant at the Towne Centre.  Mom #1 admits to occasional bouts of vegetarianism.  As she puts it, "sometimes we're vegetarian, and sometimes we're not."  Mom #2, although not vegetarian, does not drink soda of any kind and practices yoga.  Then, there is me -- the soda-drinking carnivore who thinks yoga is surely part of Dante's Third Circle of Hell.

But I was willing to give it a shot.  So, we decided to have lunch on a weekday after we dropped our kids off at school.  Although it was the noon hour, the restaurant was not that busy, and we didn't have any problems getting a table.  Finding a parking place, however, was a little difficult.  Two of us ended up parking in the Sendik's lot.  (Cafe Manna is in the same building as the Four Seasons Coffee shop.)

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SJV Graduate wins 2nd at Science Symposium!


Divine Savior Holy Angels High School (DSHA) senior and St. John Vianney alumna Heather Crosby received second place honors at the 46th Junior Science Engineering & Humanities Symposium (JSEHS) in Madison.  With the project, A Role for BP180 in the Attachment of Cells to Lamina-5, she was awarded a $1500 undergraduate tuition scholarship from the Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  She will also have a chance to compete at the National Junior Science Symposium in Florida from April 30th to May 4th for significant miliary scholarships!

Good luck at Nationals in Florida, Heather! 

Beach Music - Jonah - and the Great Sea Turtles

The four of us recently took a fabulous five-day Florida vacation at a bargain price.  Some life-long friends let us stay at their townhouse, and I cashed in some frequent flyer miles.  The result was a memorable family vacation for pennies on the dollar.

The ocean, beach, pool, and a football were our primary entertainment.  As we watched our kids romp in the surf, their bodies tossed and jangled about like corks in a hot-tub and their laughter carried to us on the the salt-laden spray, I was reminded for the hundredth time that the best fun for kids comes when they are in nature and disconnected from technology.  We managed to get in some activities of educational interest as well.  We climbed a one-hundred foot high lighthouse that was built in 1860, one year before the Civil War began.  We spent a half day hob-nobbing in the super-high rent district, walking down Worth Avenue and South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, our mouths agape at the sheer accumulation of wealth.  We window shopped a three million dollar necklace, and toured the old-world beauty of The Breakers Hotel.  Built in the waning days of the nineteenth century, its original clients were the titans of America's industrial age.  Today it is a playground and retreat for the world's wealthy; its art work and appointments alone worth tens of millions.   

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Green Is the New Black

Local Events

It's spring cleaning time in our house, and I am once again confounded by what to do with an old television set.  Then, this morning, I saw a commercial for an electronic recycling event in Milwaukee, and took this as a sign from God.  But excitement turned to dismay when I read the small print at the bottom of the screen that said proof of residency in the City of Milwaukee was required in order to participate.

So, I googled around for some local recycling options and came upon this interesting article.   Unfortunately, the article didn't address my T.V. problem.

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Since the 1960s

city, sidewalks, walks

My family moved to Elm Grove in the 1960s.  We built our home on farmland.  We moved to the suburbs for a large yard in a quiet neighborhood, away from sidewalks and noise.  The village‚Äôs population was about 4000.

There was comparatively little development in Brookfield west of Highland Drive.  Local grocery stores included Grasch Foods, Food Farm (in Elm Grove and at Ruby Isle).  Neither Elmbrook Memorial nor Brookfield Square had been built.

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Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down to Brookfield Now

A big thumbs-up to Brookfield Now and Jessica Rasmussen for her article in this week's NOW on the musical group, Sacrifice of Praise.  The three area women mentioned in the article are using their gifts of music and song to minister inside of and beyond their community.  Through their examples of personal courage they offer hope, faith, and a tremendously positive example.

And another big thumbs-up for Jessica's article about the seminar conducted at St. John Vianney on the dangers of the Internet.  The article serves as a sober reminder to all of us, but especially to parents on the dark side of this technology.  And kudos to the parents interviewed for their courage in taking steps they deemed appropriate to safeguard their kids.

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This Place Matters

Bluemound, city, Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Elmbrook Historical Society, Town

...Is the theme of the month-long celebration sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  "This Place Matters" provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country's cities and states and enable more American's to become involved in the growing preservation movement.  In Brookfield, Preservation Month - May 2008 - will  be observed by the Elmbrook Historical Society.

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An Evening at SJVineyards

Got a chance to stop by the SJVineyards Wine Tasting Benefit on April 19th.  After picking up our handpainted "SJV" wineglasses, created by Cami Adel and Amy DiPiazza, we got a chance to peruse the raffle items, which were fantastic.   Some of the offerings included 4 Festival Dinners with beer tickets and a VIP parking pass, an autographed ball from Yi of the Bucks, an Aveda Gift Basket and a Fall 2008 Trivia Night Table.  With beverages provided by Consumer Beverages from Hales Corners, school families and parishioners sampled European, Californian, and desert wines.   My husband is allergic to wine, allergic to all liquor, and yet he seemed to have more fun than anybody else!  One of the best parts of the evening was getting a chance to catch up with other couples we haven't seen in a while and to watch the raffle winners announced.   All proceeds from this benefit will be used for advancements in SJV school technology and new computer equipment for the computer lab!. Special thanks to JoAnn Cekanor and Beth Dobrzynski, co-chairs of the first SJVineyards Wine Tasting Beneift, for coordinating this fun and very social event!                                     

 Principal Jayme Hartmann with Matt Fricker, winner of the "Spa" Wine Basket                                                                                                

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