.....The BiKeWriTeR

Around the Bend: Updates & Tidbits By Judy Steffes

Around the Bend                             July 15, 2017                                      By Judy Steffes


Historic downtown West Bend Theater sold to nonprofit

The downtown West Bend Theater has been sold.

A plan to restore a historic theater in downtown West Bend is taking a step forward with the sale of the building to a nonprofit group.

Historic West Bend Theatre Inc. on Friday bought the West Bend Theatre, 125 N. Main St., for $250,000 from Ascendant Holdings LLC, said John Torinus, the group’s spokesman.

That group wants to convert the former cinema into a venue for classic and children’s movies, plays by local theater groups, music and comedy shows, and events such as weddings and corporate meetings. The project architect is Scott Georgeson, who operates Milwaukee-based Orchestra Design Studio.

The organization is starting a campaign to raise $1.5 million to $3 million for the restoration, Torinus said. The extent of the renovations will depend on how much funds can be raised, he said. A tentative timeline calls for a fall 2018 opening.

The West Bend Theatre opened in 1929 and stopped showing movies in 2006. (jsonline)

Postponed/2nd Installment Washington County taxes are now due

Washington County Treasurer, Jane Merten, would like to remind taxpayers that their postponed/second installment 2016 property taxes are due on or before July 31, 2017.

If you are paying by check, Merten says, “Please make sure that the numeric and the written portions of the check are the same and that your check is signed, otherwise the check will be returned, and this could result in interest and penalty charges if postmarked after the due date. Postdated checks will not be held and will be processed the day that they are received. Checks should be mailed to the Washington County Treasurer, PO Box 1986, West Bend, Wisconsin, 53095. If you require a receipt, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.”

Merten encourages mailing your property tax payments early and not waiting until the last week of July. Mailing your payment early helps make sure that the USPS postmark is timely and provides greater opportunity to correct errors before the deadline. “The cost of missing the July 31 deadline is severe. Under state law, interest and penalty charges are 1.5% per month back to February 1, (10.5% in August for 2016 taxes) and continue to accrue until the taxes are paid in full. So, it is imperative to pay property taxes on time to avoid delinquent charges.”

You can also pay your property taxes online using a credit card or electronic check through Point & Pay. Visit the county website at www.co.washington.wi.us, then click on Departments, then County Treasurer, and Pay Real Estate Taxes Online. You will need your tax parcel number as well as the amount due. Of note, Point & Pay will charge a convenience fee of 2.39% of the amount for this service.

The Washington County Treasurer’s office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can contact the office at 262.335.4324.

Today is City of West Bend electronics recycling collection day

The City of West Bend Department of Public Works is having an Electronics Recycling Collection Day today, July 15, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Advanced Disposal, l803 N. River Road, West Bend.

Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law states all electronics are banned from landfills. The City’s recycling contract with Advanced Disposal provides City of West Bend residents an opportunity to dispose of electronics and computers at no cost.

Items Accepted:
• computers
• desktop printers and printer/fax/copier/scanner combinations
• video display devices with displays of at least 7” in the longest diagonal direction
• televisions
• laptop computers
• computer monitors
• computer peripherals, including keyboards, mice, hard drives, and other devices
• fax machines
• DVD players, VCRs, and other video players (i.e., DVRs).

County Attorney participates in Open Meetings webinar; significant changes likely to come

On Friday, July 7, Washington County Attorney Brad Stern participated in an interactive webinar sponsored by Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) concerning a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court decision which will impact public entities with regards to the Open Meetings Law.

It is too early to tell the full impacts of this decision, but there will likely be significant changes that will be required in the way local government does business.  These changes may include the need to post public notice for meetings of committees comprised of staff and administration.

New signs remind county park visitors of increasing fees

Neighbors across Washington County are starting to see these signs at entrances to county parks.

The signs remind county park visitors that entrance fees will be increasing in 2018. Last month, the Washington County Board approved the Parks Fiscal Sustainability Plan.

The plan aims to operate County Parks and Trails independent of the Property Tax Levy and sets course to achieve this over the next three years in order to maintain and improve parks for current and future generations of park users.

A major component of the plan includes new user fees in 2018 – daily entrance fees or annual park entrance stickers for County Parks to include the following parks: Glacier Hills Park, Ackerman’s Grove Park, Heritage Trails Park, Sandy Knoll Park, Leonard J. Yahr Park, and Homestead Hollow Park.

Eisenbahn Trail users will be encouraged to support the parks and trails by purchasing annual stickers. However, the fee is planned to be assessed per vehicle entering the parks and no charge will be enforced for walkers, ATVs, snowmobiles or bikers at this time.

“We’re still hopeful that these user groups will support our system by purchasing the stickers,” Ludovic added.

The Parks Division is actively pursuing partnerships and sponsorships for existing and future park projects and amenities. Below are just a few of the new amenities underway. Other possibilities like beer gardens, campgrounds, and improved lake access opportunities are under discussions and being explored.

Fee prices will be authorized as part of the County’s 2018 budget but are being recommended as follows:

Resident, daily $5, annual $30
Non-resident, daily $5, annual $40
Senior Citizen, daily $3, annual $25
*2nd vehicle, daily $10, annual N/A
Bus, daily $10, annual N/A
**Boat launch pass, daily $8, annual $80.00

*Additional $20 to receive a second annual park sticker for a second vehicle. Maximum 1, and it
must be used for the same household.

**Boat launches require a second fee.

Kewaskum wins 10-7 over West Bend West

On July 11, Kewaskum JV2 won 10-7 against West Bend West at home.

The highlight of the game was the battery of Pomeroy pitching and Pick catching for the first 5 innings.  Mason Pomeroy went 3 for 4, 1 run scored and two stolen bases.  Dustin Pick went 3 for 3, 1 run scored, 2 RBIs and a sacrifice bunt.

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. Judy Steffes will return to the States this weekend. Thank you for your support.

-Toured the Royal Palace in Amsterdam and it’s a building fit for a king with rich marble, brass and ivory and artwork that salutes Roman gods and goddesses, built in the 17th Century as the Town Hall of Amsterdam. The Palace used to be the Town Hall and it dates to the 16th Century. It was often referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World because 13,659 wooden poles were driven into the soft ground to carry the weight of the building.

-Visited the Ann Franke house in Amsterdam. It’s amazing and sad all at the same time. Rooms where the Frank family, the van Pels and Fritz Pfeffer lived were tight quarters. We climbed the stairs to the office and then the hiding space. Steep stairs. You had to duck your head and step up about six inches to climb behind the bookcase and through the secret passage. The helpers had to shop for eight people in hiding; ration cards were purchased on the black market. Otto Frank was the only one to survive after their Secret Annex was found and everyone arrested. They were deported first to Westerbork transit camp, and then to Auschwitz. An interview with Otto Frank and his thoughts about his daughter, “Anne realized how serious her situation was and she kept her faith.”

-The Declaration of Independence was written on paper from a paper mill in De Zaan, Netherlands. The mill De Schoolmeester (the Schoolmaster) was built in 1692 and is the oldest working paper mill in the world.

-I’ve only managed to gather a couple tidbits about wooden shoes or “klompen” – one of the traditional hallmarks of the Netherlands. Currently really only worn by farm and fishermen, gardeners, farmers, blacksmiths, masons and road workers. The fishermen’s shoe had more of an upturned and pointed toe. Apparently they could then hook their nets with the tip of their shoe and pull it up without bending over. For the farmer they were easy to clean, warm in winter and cool in summer and if a cow stepped on your foot, the shoe would prevent serious injury.

-The Saturday market in Hoorn is written up in a number of travel sites as a “can’t miss” event. The market starts on Breed Street and stretches more than 10 blocks. Vendors range from flowers to food and textiles to wooden shoes.  During a slow moment I caught up with a maker of the famous Stroopwafel, a specialty of the Netherlands made of a simple batter with a syrup spread in the middle.

-I read about farm camping before I left on tour and this little farm just outside Edam was fantastic.  A parade of nosey ducks was at my home base in minutes as I started to unpack.

Initially I thought it great country hospitality but then I figure out it was they’re normal scam as everybody fed the cute ducks. And yes, it was hard to get them to leave after you gave them a little bread. The working farm also had chickens and a dairy. My neighbors Gerard and Corrie van Paridon were across the way. Corrie carried on a long conversation with me in Dutch. Finally I went and got a young translator at the campsite and she said Corrie was inviting me back for coffee when her grandsons would get there and they could translate. Floris and Matthijs from Bussum arrived about an hour later and we chatted about their grandfather starting a trucking firm, how he was a great historian and how the couple had a huge family that would come and visit while they camped. Everyone is so welcoming even when you don’t know what anyone is saying.



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