Around the Bend: Updates & Tidbits By Judy Steffes

July 1, 2017 – Washington County, WI – Tuesday, the annual 4th of July parade kicks off at 9:30 a.m. in West Bend with the parade route as follows (same route as last year):

The lineup will take place on Main Street in front of Badger Middle School. The route will proceed north on Main Street through downtown, west on Cedar street, north on 7th Ave. crossing Hwy 33 to North Main Street and ending in Regner Park. The route is about one mile long.

After the parade, festivities at Regner Park will include food, kids games, Duck Derby, karaoke, Regner beach swimming and splash pad fun.

At Riverside Park, 6 p.m. – DJ Music and dancing, West Bend Tumbling Troupe, food and beverages.

Fireworks sponsored by Horicon Bank will begin at dusk.

– Starbucks Corporate responded to a recent inquiry regarding the open date of its new store on 18th Avenue in West Bend.

Interesting to note how many stores Starbucks is aware of in its West Bend market.

“Thanks for reaching out to the press line. Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are happy to confirm that we will be opening a new location 360 N. 18th Avenue in West Bend, WI later this summer. This new location will feature a free-standing drive-thru and is our second store in the market. Feel free to reach back out later for update on the store opening timing.

Thank you for your interest in Starbucks. You may attribute this information to a Starbucks spokesperson.”

– The City of West Bend states the following locations will be periodically closed to through traffic beginning Monday, July 10, 2017 until approximately late August for street resurfacing:

  • Maple Street: 8th Avenue to 7th Avenue
  • Walnut Street: 8th Avenue to 7th Avenue
  • Poplar Street: 5th Avenue to Main Street
  • 10th Avenue: Hickory Street to Walnut Street
  • Cottonwood Court: Hawthorn Drive to Termini
  • Barberry Place: Cottonwood Court to Termini
  • Walnut Street: 12th Avenue to 11th Ave

The general contractor for the project is Payne & Dolan Inc of Waukesha, Wisconsin. There will also be a number of subcontractors working at various times during the project.  Street resurfacing will include partial removal of the existing curb and gutter, complete removal of the existing asphalt pavement using a milling machine, placement of concrete curb and gutter followed by placement of asphalt pavement.

Motorists are reminded to abide by all traffic control signs and devices as well as be aware of ongoing construction activities.  Alternate routes should be planned to avoid construction whenever possible.

– On Thursday, Lora Buck was nominated for her service with the West Bend Noon Rotary and named a Paul Harris Fellow.

Outgoing club president Kellie Boone will be replaced by Amy Salberg who takes office as the new Rotary president on July 1.

– The West Bend Early Risers Kiwanis dedicated a bench at Regner Park this week to Al Moehr. The ceremony was held prior to the July 4 Kiwanis Duck Derby. Moehr was a huge supporter of the derby as he sold quite a few ducks from Toucan Custard for the event.

– West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow testified this week before the Wisconsin Assembly Ways and Means Committee in an effort to encourage lawmakers to close a loophole in a law that allows viable big box stores to contest their property assessments and ask their store be charged the same rate as a store that is closed.

Sadownikow testified, “In West Bend, we have an intelligent constituency that pays attention to their local governmental activities.” He furthers, “They understand the Dark Store Theory and Walgreen challenges to assessments put at risk the financial stability of communities in Wisconsin.  They know current law will place an undue burden on small business, manufacturing, agriculture and homeowners.”

Within a week of opening its doors in West Bend the new Meijer grocery fought its assessment of $20 million. They claim they should only be assessed at $9 million.

Meijer paid $6 million for the land and then constructed a 200,000 square foot building.

The city assessor’s office in West Bend confirmed Meijer representatives played the dark store card. Other stores across the state fighting assessment include Walgreens, Walmart, Menards and Shopko.  So far the courts have ruled in favor of the stores which then pay less property taxes. In the end the communities that shop at the stores are the ones hit the hardest.

In West Bend the School District had to give back $80,000 after the courts ruled in favor of two Walgreens stores that fought to have its assessment lowered to less than $5 million even though the stores sold for a combined $14 million.

Sadownikow went on to talk about the “slippery slope” that has been created with other challenges from WalMart, Menard’s and ShopKo, “Walgreens and Meijer are not being asked to pay someone else’s property tax, just their own, under the same format Wisconsin has been using for decades.  I would like them to stop demanding that we pay theirs.”

– Two UW-Washington County faculty have received promotions and tenure.  The announcement was made by Cathy Sandeen, Chancellor of University of Wisconsin Colleges/University of Wisconsin-Extension, who noted, “these colleagues will continue to make valuable contributions to ensure that the UW Colleges meets its vital mission within the State of Wisconsin.” Earning a promotion and/or tenure requires a rigorous academic review and the UW System Board of Regents confirmed the chancellor’s recommendations.

Receiving promotions at UW-Washington County were: Jennifer Heinert (English) was promoted from Associate Professor with tenure to Professor with tenure. Mohan Thapa, photo (Mathematics) was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure.

The UW System Board of Regents formally voted to approve the promotions or tenure at their June meeting, and they are effective July 1, 2017, for UW Extension, and August 28, 2017, for UW Colleges, which is the first day of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Updates & tidbits from the road

Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s is on the road: This year’s Amazing Ride for Alzheimer’s bicycle tour is on the road to the Netherlands. Please log onto imthebikewriter.blogspot.com for updates. Cheers!

– Adventure by the seat of my pants … is quickly becoming the standard method of travel on these tours.

Rode the jet stream from Detroit into Amsterdam and landed an hour early. Cobbled together my bike, which included repair to a broken spoke and a flat tire, and I was off. Don’t ask me “where to” as I had no maps and, yes, I can see your eye rolls all the way in Europe.

I got lost six or seven times, and it was beautiful.

– Met storekeep Dirk Smits at his corner grocery “Smits Traiteur” in the old part of Hoofddorp. The neighborhood grocery was open six days a week. “Sunday is closed,” said Smits. “We’re Christians.  If you give me a million we wouldn’t open the store. We see the Bible as the holy book of God.”

– Stopped to help Fernando at the side of the road; his chain slipped off. The unique thing about a cycle in Holland is that they all seem to have wrap-around chain guards. Good at keeping grease off a pant leg but a total hindrance with small screws if you need to fix. We teamed up and solved it.

– Fields of flowers decorated both sides of the bike path as I make my way from Amsterdam to Leiden. The tree-lined canals run through all the towns with designated bike lanes on each side. It is cozy and beautiful all in the same breath.

– Leaving Lisse after 22 miles out of Amsterdam on Monday and a wonderful stay with Eduard and Marthy at Bed & Rest – De Dahlia. A beautiful house with energetic neighbor boys, Sam and Simon. Simon and Sam found me. The pair were up to no good summertime shenanigans. Digging a tunnel to China next to a covered bike port where I was taking a rest.

Eventually, after chucking rocks onto the roof and making honking noises at the entry, they were brave enough to come in and try to have a chat. I found interesting, even with the language differences, some of the things we had in common, and their genuine “kid” sense of humor.

What resonates internationally with children? Try starting with Frozen and Star Wars.

I got a kick at how hilarious Sam found my name.

– Spent quite a bit of time in Leiden at the Hortus Botanicus; it’s the oldest garden in the Netherlands, founded by Leiden University in 1590, and the most beautiful.

– The bicycling community is fantastic; so many kids on bikes.

– There’s a saying in the Netherlands, “Have faith in God but lock your bike.”

– This is something I never read in a travel guide…the businesses in Holland are basically boycotting VISA. They’re all sick of the hefty fees that come with processing every transaction. “That’s bad news on this end,” said the female biker who travels with a dedicated VISA.  I have a VISA debit card, too. They won’t take that, either, so it’s off to the cash machine or “robo cash” as it’s called here. This will make for an interesting trip.

 

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