Friday, February 13, 2015

Ah, capella

The February 1, 2015 column by our Pastor Parish Administrator brings news of a couple more small steps.
"On Fridays in Lent, the parish will offer the Stations of the Cross. This beautiful devotion is conveniently scheduled at 7:00 p.m., right after our excellent Fish Fry. In order to do this devotion, we needed to move the Stations into the Church (they had previously been in the chapel.)...
As you might expect, this being a modern adoration chapel, the stations were a few feet apart. It was almost as if this devotion was an afterthought, or even that someone wanted to discourage it.

Even more surprising...

"Since the stations are moving out of the Chapel, we also thought it might be a good time to try something new in that space. So, you can expect a slightly different look. The walls will be patched and painted, and the furniture that is already there will be rearranged."
Could this mean rearranged so that the seating will be perpendicular to the long axis of the room, with the altar at what would have been regarded as the front of the room? That's how it was portrayed on the architectural drawings that induced me to contribute to the capital campaign that included building it. I was a bit chagrined when the room as built had the altar on one side of the room, with the seating then facing that side. By chagrined I mean this was a factor in my discontinuing pledging to church fund appeals. I don't mean stopped giving, just stopped pledging. Fool me once, etc..

Perhaps these changes will be steps toward de-chagrining.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Franklin considers resident's request for dog park

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"[Jeremy] Affolter pitched the idea to the Franklin Parks Commission last December.
[...]
"But the parks commission does have a good idea of where the facility should be located: Southwest Park, which does not exist yet but is on the docket for development, under the city's forward-thinking [sic] recreation plan.
[...]
"The CORP [Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan] proposes the Southwest Park be "an approximately 350-acre regional park comprised of the existing 165-acre Milwaukee County-owned Franklin Park and an additional 175 to 200 acres to be acquired by the city of Franklin."
I haven't read the 274 page plan. A pond with a little beach, deep enough for canoeing, kayaking, sailing dinghies, maybe with winter skating, would be nice to have someday.

Update: John Rasche has since reported that an Informal poll to gauge interest for Franklin dog park. Mayor Steve Olson had the online poll posted.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Of 21 oak trees selected, only six to be saved during South North Cape Road work

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"Last year, the Franklin Common Council agreed to spend $50,000 in order to save 21 trees along the road that were endangered by reconstruction [by Milwaukee County].
[...]
"'The idea was to save 21 trees, but that was done … before the designs were complete, and before we knew how much it was going to cost to save those trees,' said City Engineer Glen Morrow.

"Morrow said that in order to save all 21 trees, the city would have to spend $150,000 under the final calculations ... .

"'We worked with the county to try and get it down to within your budget and these (six) trees were the most significant,' Morrow said.

"The final cost to save those six trees comes in at around $38,000, including $20,000 in fees for additional county engineering resources that were used to construct the multiple road designs.

"'It was hard for me to spend $50,000 on (saving) 21 trees, and I can't support this much for just six trees,' said Alderwoman Janet Evans. ...
[...]
"The council approved the South North Cape agreement with the county in a 4-1 vote. Evans opposed the motion."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The streetcars of old Milwaukee

An article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel anticipating yesterday's vote to delay consideration of the proposed downtown streetcar included this map of the Proposed streetcar route. It shows the initial route, route extensions, and potential future extensions.

Some critics have applied the term '19th century' to the proposal. While the streetcars would be modern designs, not what are called Heritage or Vintage, the routes do bear a resemblance to those of Milwaukee Streetcars - 1892.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why a Generation of Adoptees Is Returning to South Korea

Maggie Jones's essay in The New York Times included this on one such adopted child.
"In Franklin, Wis., a largely white suburb of Milwaukee, [Laura] Klunder attended a Lutheran school where she was taunted by one boy for years: 'Why is your skin so dirty?' 'You look like a black Barbie.' 'Did you fall in the mud?' Her parents had good intentions and, Klunder says, 'were loving in more ways than they were not.' But they didn’t acknowledge how central race was in their daughter’s life. 'My parents told me they didn’t see color,' Klunder said. 'They couldn’t engage on that level.'

"When I recently talked to her mother, she said: 'I could see how upsetting certain things were to Laura. But I said, You can’t let these things bother you so much; there will also be people like that in the world.'"

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homeward bound: Victory of the Lamb, Kayla's Krew move closer to making new facilities a reality

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now on this collaboration.
"Construction for the new church facility is slated for summer 2015, with a tentative grand opening in November.

"Victory of the Lamb's new home on West Loomis Road will also pave the way for Kayla's Krew playground, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to building an all-inclusive playground in Franklin."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hickory Grove Apartments proposal stands still after alderwoman abstains

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"The area selected for the apartment complex is designated for residential, single-family homes under the city's current comprehensive master plan. However, city staff has claimed more than once that the designation was intended to be for multifamily developments since 1998.
[...]
"Because the master plan amendment was not approved, the council could not vote on further zoning items related to the apartment complex proposal — an announcement that received applause from the project's opponents, who had believed their battle had been lost."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Candidates file for spring election in Oak Creek, Franklin, Greendale and Hales Corners

John Rasche and Heather Ronaldson reported in Franklin Now.
"No positions on the Common Council will be open for the spring election. ...

"Incumbents Janet Evans and Aimee Schlueter will run for re-election on the School Board. Residents Jeff Lewis and Jessica Kent will run for the two open board seats as well."

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 marks another year of change for Oak Creek, Hales Corners, Franklin and Greendale

Heather Ronaldson and John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"After months of public discussion, the Franklin Common Council ultimately rejected a proposal to establish a tax-incremental finance district for downtown development near The Rock Sports Complex in April.
[...]
"Franklin High School students began the 2014-15 school year with a new auditorium and academic addition in August.
[...]
"The new Saber Center for the Performing Arts auditorium seats about 850 people and includes additional corridors for band, choir and music classrooms.

"The academic addition is a new corridor for English and social studies classes.

"The high school also opened up its newly-renovated Saber Stadium this year. The $2.4 million project, offset by about $850,000 raised by a parent-led campaign, includes a new artificial turf field, a softball field and a regulation track.

"The school district expects construction to continue into 2015, with surfacing of the track scheduled for this spring.

"The city took its first steps toward a proposed development plan, potentially worth $328 million, in November.
[...]
"The proposed plan calls for the creation of two tax-incremental financing districts and the amendment to an already existing TIF district on 27th Street to introduce new, significant economic development to the city.
[...]
"Many students in the Franklin and Whitnall school districts received their own tablet devices as part of a 1:1 Initiative program this school year whereby students can access their homework and other classroom resources, including textbooks, online. ..."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Franklin to negotiate terms of West St. Martins Road repair, ownership with Milwaukee County

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"Milwaukee County has offered to pay for complete reconstruction of West St. Martins as long as the city of Franklin takes ownership of the road after the project.

"The common council discussed the proposed 'jurisdictional transfer' of the road during a meeting on Dec. 16. And although the council agreed the road needed to be rebuilt, the aldermen were hesitant about what the reconstruction project may require, such as sidewalks and wider shoulders.
[...]
"Franklin officials addressed an almost identical proposal earlier this year, when Milwaukee County wished to turn over its South North Cape Road ownership to the city after a complete reconstruction. The project faced multiple objections from residents on South North Cape Road, who opposed sidewalk installation and tree removal as outlined in proposed designs.

"After several rounds of negotiations, city and county officials compromised on a road design without sidewalk installation and minimal tree removal. The compromise, however, cost the county $600,000 in state financial aid through the County Highway Improvement Program, which would have required sidewalk installation.
[...]
"The council unanimously approved the jurisdictional transfer [of St. Martins Road], but listed several conditions for the arrangement in a resolution.

"The resolution calls for removal of the old asphalt, resurfacing the road, widening the cross section to a maximum of 30 feet across (including shoulders), installation of a sidewalk/pathway along only one side of the road and reparation of the storm sewer systems.

"The resolution also calls for the county to hold public informational meetings in regard to the project designs."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Wisconsin Driver Blames Beer Battered Fish Fry for DUI

The Associated Press reported at Claims Journal,
"A criminal complaint ... [says the driver] told the deputy that stopped him that the reason he smelled like alcohol is because he had been at a fish fry and had eaten beer-battered fish."
Coming soon, 'Wisconsin Driver Blames Old Fashioned Christmas for DUI'.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Protest stalls Franklin apartment plan

John Rasche reported in Franklin Now on the controversial Hickory Grove apartment complex, including a petition against it which could require a three-fourths majority of the Common Council to approve the project.
"The land in question was intended to be designated for multifamily developments when the PDD No. 25 was created for the Woodland Trails Condominiums in 1998, Planning Manager Joel Dietl said. Due to an admitted oversight by the city's planning department, however, the existing comprehensive master plan does not reflect the multifamily designation. Instead, the area is currently designated for residential, single-family homes.

"Many residents — including former Franklin mayors Tom Taylor and Fred Klimetz, as well as Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor, who is a former alderman — disagree that the single-family designation wasn't intended all along for that neighborhood."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

With monitoring services secured for 2015, Franklin sets new conditions for future quarry contracts

John Rasche posted at Franklin Now
"The common council has set new conditions for future contracts related to the city's quarry-monitoring services, after signing a contract with a monitoring agency for 2015.

"The conditions stem from residents' complaints in August that the quarry's blasting had significantly increased after the city's contract with Stantec expired. ..."

"With the 2015 contract signed and future negotiation conditions set, there remains only one last item to address, [Alderwoman Kristen] Wilhelm said.

"The council directed staff and the QMC [quarry monitoring committee] to update the city's nonmetallic mining reclamation ordinance, which lays out a plan for when quarry operations do cease, with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' model ordinance by Jan. 1, 2015."

A lake with a sand beach would be nice.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dueling development initiatives put Franklin mayor, aldermen at odds

Tom Daykin posted at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on differences of opinion over priorities.
"The issue revolves around three large future development proposals unveiled recently:

  • A business park to be developed on 352 acres in an area west of S. 27th St. and south of W. Oakwood Road.

  • Stores, restaurants and other redeveloped and new commercial space planned for 457 acres extending east and southwest of an area at the intersection of S. 76th St., W. Rawson Ave. and W. Loomis Road.

  • A mix of new businesses, traditionally designed residential neighborhoods and a community park on 553 acres north and south of Ryan Road where it crosses Loomis Road, in Franklin's southwest corner."
  • Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    Franklin Historical Society to host holiday youth activities before 'An Old-Fashioned Christmas'

    John Rasche posted at Franklin Now on doings at the historical buildings in Lions Legend Park.
    "Elementary school students are invited to celebrate the Christmas season by making holiday decorations and trimming the Whelan School Christmas tree on Saturday, Dec. 6. ..."
    Today's the last day to reserve. The following week,
    "The society's Old-Fashioned Christmas will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13 in the historic St. Peters Chapel ...

    "The event will begin with the children's One-Room Christmas program at 3 p.m.

    "The Old-Fashioned Christmas includes three nondenominational Christmas services, which will be held at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. ..."

    Franklin panel updates city master plan to accommodate apartment development: Residents remain critical of proposal, which moves forward

    John Rasche posted at Franklin Now.

    What's the controversial proposal?

    "A proposal to build an apartment complex near 51st Street and Cobblestone Way has angered several nearby residents, who quickly turned to the city's Comprehensive Master Plan to oppose the development.

    "Under the current master plan, the area is designated for residential, single-family homes."

    The proposed change was made easier by this mistake.
    "The plot of land was intended to be multifamily anyway, said Planning Manager Joel Dietl. The land in question falls into Planned Development District No. 25, which was created for the Woodland Trails Condominiums in 1998.

    "PDD No. 25 called for multifamily use of the land, but the master plan designation was overlooked during a revision in 2009, Dietl said."

    The plan commission recommended the CMP amendment and the proposed rezoning to multifamily. These go before the Common Council today.
    "The Dec. 2 meeting will include a continuation of a public hearing regarding the proposed master plan amendment."

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Franklin adopts 2015 budget, keeps tax levy frozen

    John Rasche posted at Franklin Now on Franklin's Common Council.
    "The 2015 budget sets the total property tax levy at $20.5 million, the same amount as last year. This marks the second year in a row that the city has maintained a frozen tax levy.

    "The projected tax rate for 2015 comes in at $6.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value — about 1 cent less than the 2014 rate. ..."

    Saturday, November 29, 2014

    The kindness of strangers in the Church as field hospital

    From a review by Blake Bailey of Tennessee Williams by John Lahr in The New York Times.
    "... eight months before his death in 1983, Williams received an honorary degree from Harvard. Spotting Mother Teresa at a reception beforehand, he shambled over to where she sat on a couch saying her rosary, knelt down and put his head in her lap. Clearly the good woman had no idea who this paunchy, disheveled person was, but she knew a soul in pain when she saw it, and patted his head as she gave him her blessing."

    Friday, November 28, 2014

    Life is art, at least for longtime Franklin man, whose works will appear at library

    Rick Romano posted at Franklin Now. Here are the essentials.
    WHAT: Exhibit by Franklin resident and artist Carl M. Ruppert

    WHERE: Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Rd.

    WHEN: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29

    Franklin School District keeps tax levy from rising as it finalizes next budget

    John Rasche posted at Franklin Now on the Franklin School District 2014-15 budget.
    "... The district set the tax levy at $32.7 million for the school year — about $1,600 [sic] less than last year's levy. If assessed value remains the same, the school tax rate should come in at $13.26 per $1,000 of assessed value.

    "The district's 2014-15 budget anticipates $49.9 million in total revenue sources for the general fund – about $900 [sic] more than in the 2013-14 school years — and $52.5 million in general fund expenditures — approximately $1.5 million more than last year. ..."

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Why No One Comments on Your Blog and What to Do about It

    Neil Patel posted at Quick Sprout.

    The reasons listed aren't numbered. If they were, an added reason zero could be that no posts means no comments.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    'a bold package that's 12 years overdue'

    That's Franklin Mayor Steve Olson summing up the development plan passed by the Common Council at a contentious special meeting on November 4th. John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.